CTD, or "Conductivity, temperature, and depth," are the three measurements with which marine scientists "unlock ocean patterns hidden beneath the waves." A group of scientists who believe in accessibility have a crowdfunding project to create OpenCTD, an affordable tool with which citizen scientists and students of the sea can measure these three factors, and learn more about the ocean.
The ocean is not uniform, it its filled with swirling eddies, temperature boundaries, layers of high and low salinity, changing densities, and many other physical characteristics. To reveal these patterns, oceanographers use a tool called the CTD. A CTD is found on almost every major research vessel. Rare is the scientific expedition--whether it be coastal work in shallow estuaries or journeys to the deepest ocean trenches--that doesn’t begin with the humble CTD cast. The CTD is not cheap. Commercial CTD’s start at more the $5,000 and can climb as high as $25,000 or more. We believe that the prohibitive cost of a CTD is an unacceptable barrier to open science. The price tag excludes individuals and groups who lack research grants or significant private funds from conducting oceanographic research. We want to make this tool--the workhorse of oceanographic research--available to anyone with an interest in the oceans.
Nick Sousanis, who delivered his doctoral dissertation in comic book form, has a new comic in the current Nature magazine, explaining the last 25 years’ worth of climate talks, as a primer in advance of the Paris climate talks next week.
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