The Atlantic Meridional Transect as the backbone of a Pole-to

The Atlantic Meridional Transect as the backbone of a Pole-to-Pole
Observing System
Tim Smyth, Andy Rees, Glen Tarran and the AMT teams from PML and NOC
Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place, Plymouth, Devon, PL1 3DH email: [email protected]
In 2015, the Atlantic Meridional Transect celebrates its 25th cruise and 20th anniversary. During this time the AMT time-series has been critical in unravelling the variability in
the remote biomes of the Atlantic Ocean. Particularly noteworthy have been the systematic measurements contrasting the northern and southern oligotrophic gyres.
Ship-of-opportunity model
Managed transition towards autonomy
Operational Oceanography
Over the next decade there is likely to be a step-change
in autonomous technology for both in-water and
atmospheric sensors. AMT is uniquely placed to act as a
hub or reference point for e.g. gliders acting as a pre-,
during and post- mission traceable standard.
Using the passage legs between the UK and
Falklands of the BAS research vessels, the AMT
represents excellent value for money and gives the
opportunity for excellent National Capability science.
In collaboration with the UK Met Office, CTD profiles
are ingested into forecast models in real-time:
particularly crucial in the data sparse, remote ocean.
HEI engagement
Atmospheric science
AMT gives unrivalled access to the whole
Atlantic basin over a six – eight week time
window: this gives the opportunity for
technologists to develop and prototype new
systems either in manned or remote
autonomous mode over a wide range of
conditions. AMT also gives the opportunity to
connect the atmospheric observatories at
Penlee Point (UK), Cape Verde and Ascension.
The AMT programme was established in 1995
and since then has included 24 research
cruises involving 230 scientists from 20
countries. AMT has proved to be a long-term
multidisciplinary ocean observation
programme, which is a platform for national
HEI and international scientific collaboration,
a training arena for the next generation of
oceanographers and an ideal facility for
validation of novel technology.
Satellite calibration / validation
Remote Ocean Observatory
PML recently won £0.5m from NERC to boost the
global bio-Argo fleet, five of which were launched on
AMT24. AMT serves the international Argo fleet in
collaboration with the UK Met Office.
AMT is uniquely placed to serve as the
biogeochemical observational backbone bridging
time-series stations in the north (Ellet-line) and south
(Drakes’ Passage) as well as tying in with the RAPID
array and the NOC South Atlantic Gyre mooring.
Starting in 2016 the European Space Agency will
launch its revolutionary Sentinel series of satellites:
this is a multi-decadal rolling plan for ensuring
continuous time-series of ocean parameters such as
ocean colour, sea-surface temperature and seasurface height. As the AMT traverses such a wide
latitude band and samples a wide range of oceanic
biomes it is uniquely placed to act as a critical
fiducial (reference) point for satellite sensors.