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New Sub Dives To Crushing Depths

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the deeper-and-longer dept.

Science 245

University of Washington Scientists are reporting that they have a new autonomous underwater vehicle that increases both the attainable depth and duration of deployment over current submersibles. Weighing in at just under 140 pounds, the "Deepglider" is able to stay out to sea for up to a year and hit depths of almost 9,000 feet. "Deepglider opens up new research possibilities for oceanographers studying global climate change. The glider's first trip revealed unexpected warming of water near the ocean floor, and scientists are interested in studying whether the temperatures are related to global warming."

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I've been wondering... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18156828)

Hey Slashdot, why are PC users such ugly dweebs [imageshack.us] in comparison to Mac users [imageshack.us] ? Is it because nobody has the time or patience to put up with Windows/Linux except for friendless, sexless nerds like you?

Re:I've been wondering... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18157016)

Mac users are worse than creationist-terrorist-Java programmers. Look at the evil in their eyes. They would love nothing better than to ban science, education, alcohol, scripted programming languages, dancing, and shaving (for both sexes.) They want to slowly bleed every free nation dry of its resources.

Wow, I never knew... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18157874)

I never knew all mac users were bisexual goth kids. Realistically, most women would go for guys with a little better earning potential than those mac posers.

Translation: (5, Funny)

Goalie_Ca (584234) | more than 7 years ago | (#18156844)

For those who don't speak ancient google translated it to be:
9 000 feet = 2 743.2 meters

Re:Translation: (4, Funny)

mcho (878145) | more than 7 years ago | (#18156922)

Here in the US we don't use the Metric System, which is the tool of the devil! My car gets forty rods to the hogshead and that's the way I likes it.

Re:Translation: (4, Funny)

TheMadcapZ (868196) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157810)

That joke is older than 1,000,000,000 Sun orbits around the Earth.

Re:Translation: (2, Informative)

Trigun (685027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157014)

And to put that further into perspective, from a quick Google, the current record holder was the Japanese The Shinkai 6500 [jamstec.go.jp] With a maximum recorded depth of 6,527m.

It's still got a few K's to go.

Re:Translation: (1)

MouseR (3264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157450)

The point of the news/record is that this thing is both autonomous AND can last up to a year down there.

That's not the case of this manned submarine.

Re:Translation: (3, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157520)

It's still got a few K's to go.

A few Ks hotter or colder?

K is kelvin. km is kilometers (or kilometres, even.)

Re:Translation: (3, Funny)

c_forq (924234) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157714)

k can also be thousands, but in that case I believe it is standard to have it be lower case, and almost always is immediately preceded by a number (i.e. 401k).

Re:Translation: (2, Funny)

TheClam (209230) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157828)

Were you going for (+1, Funny)? Cause you got a chuckle out of me.

Re:Translation: (3, Funny)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157974)

Actually, that 'k' is a subsection, thus 401(k).
Regards.

Re:Translation: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18157438)

Thanks but why only convert one of the two measurements? Am I supposed to understand "140 pounds"?

Re:Translation: (1)

throbbingbrain.com (443482) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157576)

For those who don't speak ancient google translated it to be: 9 000 feet = 2 743.2 meters
Conversions like that are why people are afraid of the metric system.

"almost 9,000 feet" = almost 3,000 meters.


Re:Translation: (3, Funny)

Rudisaurus (675580) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157720)

For those who don't speak ancient google translated it to be:
Google isn't really that ancient. It was only incorporated in 1998, I believe.

Re:Translation: (4, Funny)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157850)

Funny, that's exactly how I read it the first time. My first thought was "What the hell? Ancient google?" Only after reading it twice did I realize he forgot a coma. I think we should fix those kind of problems before our Metric vs. US Units problem :)

Re:Translation: (1)

Lane.exe (672783) | more than 7 years ago | (#18158048)

I think you meant to say that the poster forgot a comma. While it is entirely possible that the poster has forgotten someone, somewhere in a comatose state, it is not directly relevant to the grammatical snafu at hand.

Re:Translation: (1)

BOFHelsinki (709551) | more than 7 years ago | (#18158016)

Congratulations, you managed to pick the only Metric unit we don't use ;) (decimeter)

Re:Translation: (1)

Aaron England (681534) | more than 7 years ago | (#18158078)

It's too bad google didn't teach you the concept of significant digits.

Yar! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18158144)

And for thee that still be speakin' the pirate tongue, 1500 fathoms that would be!

Huh, global warming (0, Troll)

!Freeky2BGeeky (657344) | more than 7 years ago | (#18156912)

More like the temp of the water is warmer since it's closer to the earth's crust? Why does it seem whenever you hear about something from scientists, they're trying to relate it to "Global Warming"? Cause it sells newspapers/magazines?

Re:Huh, global warming (2, Interesting)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157056)

Who the hell modded this troll? It's insightful! The water is deep in the ocean, closer to the earth's core... or does geothermal heat not exist in the mod's world?

Re:Huh, global warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18157132)

Yes, and the planet Earth is a very simple system that conforms to a standard slashdotter's view of how it all should work.

Re:Huh, global warming (1)

syphax (189065) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157290)

I suppose it's insightful to the good portion of the ./ audience who fancies themselves armchair geologists, oceanographers, climatologists, astrophysicists, etc.

It's along the lines of the "duh, it's only the sun that's causing any warming, if there is any." (That's [wikipedia.org] wrong [realclimate.org] , BTW).

Re:Huh, global warming (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157642)

when you think about it, though, saying that the "bottom of the ocean is closer to the earth's core than the surface of the ocean" is like saying "my ankle is closer to my head than my toes."

considering how far down the core is, I don't think it makes much of a difference.

Re:Huh, global warming (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157744)

Yeah, all those darned scientist types are just slapping their brows going "D'oh! Of course! We should read Slashdot more often!"

Come on, these are people who have studied this stuff forever. You think they haven't accounted for brain-dead obvious, common-sense stuff like this?

No, actually it does contribute! (2, Informative)

benhocking (724439) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157888)

I read a recent blog [scienceblogs.com] where a real scientist showed that hydrothermal vents could contribute as much as 0.0000343 K!

It gets grants (3, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157176)

Scientists sell too. They need funding to feed their families and buy machines than go beep. They need to use teaser language to get people interested in their work to get funding.

Re:Huh, global warming (5, Informative)

syphax (189065) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157180)

The average heat flux from the earth is less than 0.1W/m2 [ou.edu] . Compare that to ~ 1000 W/m2 for the sun. Sure, it varies all over the place (see: volcanoes, etc.), but it's not a no-brainer where any heat anomalies the glider detected came from. In general, the deep ocean is quite cold [ucar.edu] because of that whole thermal expansion thing (also note that seawater is densest a few degrees above freezing (~4 deg C, if I recall). So heating from the bottom tends to cause convection.

You'll note that the scientists quoted don't mention global warming; they are excited to see stuff that they didn't expect. That's good enough to satisfy their intellectual curiosity & need to come up with new and interesting grant proposals.

You'll also notice that scientists in general don't sell newspapers or magazines. It's the journalists whose job it is to butcher the science to sell newspapers and magazines.

Finally, the oceans are very much tied up in our little carbon experiment. A good bit of any extra heat that is trapped in the atmosphere will go into the oceans. Also, a lot of the CO2 that we've emitted is already going into the oceans, which leads to ocean acidification [wikipedia.org] . This is the rate of carbonic acid input (that's CO2 + H2O H2CO3 H+ + HCO3-) is much higher than the ocean can buffer it with CaCO3 (which buffers effectively, but only on very long time scales). In the meantime, hope you don't like coral.

Re:Huh, global warming (2, Informative)

syphax (189065) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157378)

Oops, ./ ate my brackets. I meant: CO2 + H20 <=> H2CO3 <=> H+ + HCO3- (bicarbonate)
Might as well go all the way: HCO3- <=> H+ + CO3- (carbonate)

Here's the carbonic acid [wikipedia.org] scoop.

Re:Huh, global warming (1)

arhines (620963) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157422)

They're not interested in the absolute temperature, they're interested in the change in temperature over both short and long time periods. This type of data allows scientists to make predictions about future temperatures in many other locations (yes, ocean temperature will couple strongly to atmospheric temperature), and if there is enough data it allows them to describe climate change on the global scale.

Measuring change. (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157630)

They're not interested in the absolute temperature, they're interested in the change in temperature over both short and long time periods.

Of course to measure the change you first have to measure the temperature at all. Then you wait a while and do it again.

Since they couldn't get there to measure it before this is that first measurement. Any comparisons are against models.

Meanwhile the definition of amount of information obtained is "how much it surprised the receiver".

Re:Measuring change. (1)

arhines (620963) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157836)

Since they couldn't get there to measure it before this is that first measurement. Any comparisons are against models. This is not (generally) correct. Although autonomous submersibles are taking these measurements for the first time, accurate oceanographic surveys have been done using instruments dropped from ships for the good part of a century. The difference is that with gliders these measurements are greatly reduced in cost, so we can get many more of them with greater frequency.

Re:Measuring change. (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 7 years ago | (#18158002)

I'm not saying your wrong here, but a warning flag to be skeptical comes up when it is suggested that an autonomous robot is a cheaper way to get a temperature than a thermometer on the end of a cable, or a thermometer hooked to a radio transmitter. Feel free to let me know what I am missing that makes high pressure autonomous robots cheaper.

Re:Measuring change. (1)

arhines (620963) | more than 7 years ago | (#18158128)

Simple. They aren't attached to a ship which costs upwards of $50,000 per day to operate. Their batteries last for months, and allow them to gather data at an unbelievably small fraction of the cost of traditional methods, beaming it back via satellite phone every time they surface.

Re:Measuring change. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18158140)

Autonomous robot: Deploy once, let it take a reading every 24 hours for a year, recover.

Thermometer on then end of a cable: Send a ship to the same spot every 24 hours for a year to drop a cable and take a reading.

Re:Huh, global warming (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#18158074)

Wow, don't see you around much and certainly not since zzz went off-air.
Hope you are OK, if you ever reopen for business make sure you let slash know :)

Re:Huh, global warming (2, Insightful)

mrcdeckard (810717) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157560)


why is it that topics like global warming (and evolution for that matter), everyone thinks they know better than someone whom has (presumably) studied the topic for years by dismissing them as saying what they "cause it sells newspapers/magazines"?

i'm not saying that your theory is wrong (or that the scientist is right), but assessing validity between A) a random poster on /. and B) a researcher at u of w, i think i may be inclined to believe the scientist.

sorry, not to pick on you, but it amazes me how often politicians, theologians, pundits, etc., spout their opinions as if it carries more weight than someone who has dedicated their life studying the subject. if it turns out that science is wrong, then the truth will bear out, and any scientist worth their salt will be the first to say it's wrong -- i also suspect that most scientists *are* worth their salt.

modern science has benefited humanity in so many ways, yet people deny it when it goes against their opinions/politics.

mr c

Re:Huh, global warming (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157930)

modern science has benefited humanity in so many ways, yet people deny it when it goes against their opinions/politics.

Exactly! I couldn't agree more. Of course, it also needs to be said every time an article comes up where a scientist says something against the group-think, like "Global Warming is not man-made".

While it is OK to voice your opinion, I don't think it is OK to question the ethics of the scientists involved.

Re:Huh, global warming (2, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157800)

No, they made no such conclusion. They are only marking climate change as one possible explanation for differences between expected and measured values.

Any physical oceanographer (my wife happens to be one) will tell you that ocean temperatures are a very complex phenomenon. If the surface temperature of the ocean increased, it wouldn't be seen any time soon as an across the board increase in deep ocean temperatures, because the ocean doesn't vertically mix much in any locality. Instead, surface currents carry energy great distances horizontally, eventually cooling and sinking to drive deep ocean return currents.

Monitoring changes in deep ocean temperatures in many places is an interesting objective, because it might say a great deal about changes in ocean circulation patterns. The relationship between increased surface temperatures and deep ocean temperatures is more complex than it would be if temperatures simply diffuse downard. It is quite possible that in some places a global increase in surface temperature would cause temperatures to drop in some deep ocean localities.

You can no more make conclusions about global climate change from a single deep ocean location than you can from a single surface weather station.

IIRC, there already is robotic monitoring of deep ocean temperatures. Extending the reach of these programs will give us a more complete picture, which in turn can be used to validate or invalidate climate change scenarios. If you believe global warming is a sham, then obtaining a more complete picture is a good thing. It'll make faulty models harder to validate.

AFAIK, the radiative cooling of the Earth is a relatively minor contributor to ocean temperatures; however by looking at changes in temperature, especially across many places, then it can be effectively factored out.

Re:Huh, global warming (2)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157928)

More like the temp of the water is warmer since it's closer to the earth's crust? Why does it seem whenever you hear about something from scientists, they're trying to relate it to "Global Warming"? Cause it sells newspapers/magazines?

It not only sells newspapers, it wins Oscars!

This is interesting (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18156936)

The oceans have always been a mystery to man, even in modern times. The fact that we can reach the summit of the highest point on Earth is wonderful, but we can't say the same about the ocean. It's been a theory of mine that if there are aliens on this planet that they would be at the bottom of the sea. Think about it, if they studied the planet they'd realise its mostly water. Ever seen The Abyss?

AC because mods piss me off.

Funding guaranteed if ... (1, Interesting)

Jerry (6400) | more than 7 years ago | (#18156946)

you tie your pet project to Global Warming.

Doesn't matter how, just as long as you don't attempt to prove it wrong.

Re:Funding guaranteed if ... (4, Funny)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#18156990)

I'd like to test the effects of global warming on the production and recreational use of the marijuana plant. I swear to God it will be a scientific study.

Re:Funding guaranteed if ... (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157990)

Sweet! Can I be a volunteer on your study? I promise I will be as impartial as possible.

Re:Funding guaranteed if ... (1)

Pinkfud (781828) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157004)

Right. How is the warming "unexpected"? The oceanic crust is much thinner than continental crust, and it's basaltic so it conducts heat a bit better than siliceous crustal rock. It doesn't surprise me at all if some heat is escaping through the ocean floors.

Re:Funding guaranteed if ... (1)

GiovanniZero (1006365) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157486)

and further more, gloabl warming is supposed to be happening at the surface level. Why would the warm global warming water go down to the bottom of the ocean when there is plenty of cooler water in between?

Hi Al (1)

Zeek40 (1017978) | more than 7 years ago | (#18156978)

scientists are interested in studying whether the temperatures are related to global warming
Wow Mr Gore, nice job! I was impressed with your ability to bring the topic of global warming up during your oscar speech yesterday, but today while summarizing an article about a new submarine! Very impressive!

Re:Hi Al (1)

C0y0t3 (807909) | more than 7 years ago | (#18158010)

Yes a master of manipulation indeed, slipping in a mention of Global Warming while accepting an award for a movie about Global Warming. Diabolical...

Serious question (2, Insightful)

zyl0x (987342) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157002)

How would global warming, if it even exists as people say it does, affect the temperature of water on the ocean floor?

Re:Serious question (0, Troll)

arhines (620963) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157124)

How would the amount of brain matter inside of your skull, if it even exists as people say it does, affect the wisdom of your statement?

Re:Serious question (2, Insightful)

High Hat (618572) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157164)

Well under the assumption that global warming has an effect on ocean streams this could be a possibility.

Obviously heat radiated from the core of the Earth is a much more likely cause...

Re:Serious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18157292)

I believe that is exactly the question the scientists would like to answer. Hence, 'further study'

Re:Serious question (4, Informative)

san (6716) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157336)

That is probably the very question they're trying to answer.

Ocean water is not stagnant and there are currents that mix surface water with warmer water in places where the surface water is colder (and denser) than the deeper water.

Why are you asking it here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18157760)

Do you think that the scientists that are doing this and related studies are here? Or are you just trolling like many others?

Not that deep... (1, Insightful)

rkww (675767) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157010)

The Marianas Trench [wikipedia.org] is 35,813 feet (11521 metres) deep, according to the submariners who went to the bottom of it. So how is this new submersible in any way special?

Re:Not that deep... (2, Informative)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157110)

Read the article you link to. Submariners have NEVER been to the bottom of the trench. If any person has been to the bottom of the trench, they were dead long before they got there. From the article, "Using echo sounding, the Challenger II measured a depth of 5,960 fathoms..." Nothing manmade has ever been to the bottom of the trench and returned.

Re:Not that deep... (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157186)

Bah. Ignore me. I'm wrong. Me stoopid. sigh.... (and Slashdot's stupid time limit on additional posts is not letting me immediately correct my mistake...)

Re:Not that deep... (0, Flamebait)

casings (257363) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157192)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bathyscaphe_Trieste [wikipedia.org]


Trieste departed San Diego on October 5, 1959 on the way to Guam by the freighter Santa Maria to participate in Project Nekton -- a series of very deep dives in the Mariana Trench.

On January 23, 1960, Trieste reached the ocean floor in the Challenger Deep (the deepest southern part of the Mariana Trench), carrying Jacques Piccard (son of Auguste) and Lieutenant Don Walsh, USN. This was the first time a vessel, manned or unmanned, had reached the deepest point in the Earth's oceans. The onboard systems indicated a depth of 11 521 m (37,800 ft), although this was later revised to 10 916 m (35,813 ft), and more accurate measurements made in 1995 have found the Challenger Deep to be slightly shallower, at 10 911 m (35,798 ft).

The descent took 4 hours and 48 minutes before reaching the ocean floor.[1] After passing 9,000 meters one of the outer plexiglas window panes shattered, shaking the entire vessel.[2] The two men spent barely twenty minutes at the ocean floor, eating chocolate bars to keep their strength. The temperature in the cabin was a mere 7C at the time. While on the bottom at maximum depth, Piccard and Walsh (unexpectedly) regained the ability to communicate with the surface ship, USS Wandank II ATA-204, using a sonar/hydrophone voice communications system. [1]. At a speed of almost a mile per second (about five times the speed of sound in air), it took about 7 seconds for a voice message to travel from the craft to the surface ship, and another 7 seconds for answers to return.

While on the bottom, Piccard and Walsh observed small soles and flounders swimming away, proving that certain vertebrate life can withstand all existing extremes of pressure in earth's oceans. They noted that the floor of the Challenger Deep consisted of "diatomaceous ooze".

After leaving the bottom, they undertook their ascent, which required 3 hours, 15 minutes. Since then, no manned craft has ever returned to the Challenger Deep. A Japanese robotic craft Kaiko reached the bottom of the Challenger Deep in 1995. This craft was lost at sea in 2003, leaving no craft in existence capable of reaching these most extreme ocean depths (which, however, represent an extremely tiny fraction of the ocean's bottom area).


hmm, i guess they were full of shit.

Re:Not that deep... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18157286)

Sure, and next you'll be telling us we landed on the moon...

Re:Not that deep... (1)

vwjeff (709903) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157926)

Read the article you link to. Submariners have NEVER been to the bottom of the trench.

From the Wikipedia Article:

"In an unprecedented dive, the United States Navy bathyscaphe Trieste reached the bottom at 1:06 p.m. on January 23, 1960, with U.S. Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard on board. Iron shot was used for ballast, with gasoline for buoyancy.[4] The onboard systems indicated a depth of 11,521 meters (37,800 ft), but this was later revised to 10,916 meters (35,813 ft). At the bottom, Walsh and Piccard were surprised to discover soles or flounder about 30 cm (1 ft) long, as well as shrimp."

Re:Not that deep... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18158164)

How about reading a bit further that article. Trieste was a bathyscape which two guys, Don Walsh and Jaques Piccard went down there, took some pictures and came up. Both were very much alive and well many years after that ... Manned devices classified as submarines haven't got much deeper than the NR-1 [fas.org] did though.

Re:Not that deep... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18157202)

Now come back and tell us when they've revisited almost 1/3 of the depth *autonomously*, and then stayed there for a year. /hint: it helps if you RTFA - or even just RTF summary - before posting smart-assed comments.

Re:Not that deep... (3, Informative)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157258)

1. It's an autonomous vehicle. Most unmanned subs have to be remotely piloted. Many are tethered to their mothership, severely limiting their range and maneuverability.

2. Its range and endurance are nothing short of phenomenal. They've made a quantum leap in efficiency.

3. It may be the cheapest way to get to a depth of 9000 ft.

Re:Not that deep... (1)

syphax (189065) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157476)


From TFA:

"Gliders are a cost-effective alternative to traditional measuring techniques, which involve expensive boat-trips and floating instruments that simply drift with surface currents."

This one goes a lot deeper than previous gliders, opening up a whole lot more of the ocean to cost-effective data collection.

Using your logic, the Apollo 11 mission was not special because it did not go to Pluto (or whatever is the outermost planet these days).

#ir3.trolltalk.com (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18157042)

Person. Ask your a full-time GNAA Thes3 rules will with the laundry

How did they know what it was before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18157046)

If they're only seeing the temperature there now, how can they say it has changed?

Need a budget? Reference Global Warming. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18157080)

I need a new cell phone plan that has a Global Warming clause.

Global Warming on the ocean floor? Ha (1, Interesting)

brendanoconnor (584099) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157122)

I find it extremely unlikely that global warming is having any effect on the ocean floor. Head a mile off the coast of the pacific and swim down 20 feat. You'll notice a couple of things. One, it gets dark very quickly; meaning light doesn't get to travel far. Two, it gets very cold very fast; meaning the heat from the sun is not penetrating all that deeply.

To keep this on topic, cool submersible though. It would be incredible to really explore the very depths of the ocean just to see what kind of life we find. I'm sure there are many secrets waiting to be discovered.

Brendan

Re:Global Warming on the ocean floor? Ha (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157752)

Two, it gets very cold very fast; meaning the heat from the sun is not penetrating all that deeply.

And that water has a density maximum at about 4 degrees C. So (to a first approximation, ignoring issues like salinity gradients) 4 degree C water sinks below water at any higher or lower temperature, regulating the deep-ocean temperature - until you get down to where the ocean bottom is heating it faster than it can float away.

Heat input at the top just changes the level where it reaches 4 degrees, not what the temperature below that point is.

Re:Global Warming on the ocean floor? Ha (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157914)

  1. IIRC, you personally do not believe that Global warming is occurring, but I could be wrong.
  2. notice the current transport? That runs accross the surface and then submerges carrying heat with it. Since I am not an oceanographer, I could not make an intelligent guess on it. But, I would guess that are not as well.
  3. I suspect that a long term study will find that the ocean is fairly variable. The truth is, that we do not have that good of data related to temps and salinity, except at the surface. That is why a number of these gliders may be useful to gathering this data.

OMG - It MUST be global warming.. (3, Insightful)

SuseLover (996311) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157140)

So, the very first question is weather this is related to global warming or not. What about.. Or it may be due to hot magma underneath or some previously unknown "conveyor belt"?

Not jumping to conclusions or anything, are we??

Re:OMG - It MUST be global warming.. (2, Insightful)

the dark hero (971268) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157288)

So, the very first question is weather this is related to global warming or not. What about.. Or it may be due to hot magma underneath or some previously unknown "conveyor belt"?

Not jumping to conclusions or anything, are we??

No. We have a mat for that. The "Global Warming" square is right next to the "Violent Videogames" and "Acts of Terror" squares. You cant miss it.

Re:OMG - It MUST be global warming.. (1)

Cctoide (923843) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157298)

In other news, global warming is found to be the cause of 99.8% of all cases of thermal processor failure.

Speaking of jumping to conclusions (1)

VENONA (902751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157960)

From TFA:
"The energy-efficient, battery-powered glider carries sensors to measure oceanic conditions including salinity and temperature -- information that is key to understanding climate change."

Which sounds reasonable to me. No causality claims were made. These are scientists, with anomalous data which they're quite naturally curious about. That's what they do. Why are you so quick to assume that wild claims are being made? If it's magma, or a new conveyor belt, fine. Knowing about it is a Good Thing, as is nearly anything that may improve models, and allow more appropriate actions to be taken by one and all--people, companies, and nations.

global warming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18157170)

Water insulated by 9,000 feet (imperial measurement rules) affected by global warming?! Give me a break. More than likely there's an open fissure near by and magma is warming the water. Call me crazy but that seems much more likely than global climate change heating the depths of the worlds largest toilets.

Error in article? (4, Informative)

asadodetira (664509) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157212)

I'm working in a buoyancy related problem so I have to point this out. From the full article: "When pressure compresses a hull in a traditional glider, it gains buoyancy and requires more energy to control." If it's compressed, the volume shrinks, it gains density and loses buoyancy.

Re:Error in article? (2, Interesting)

arhines (620963) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157332)

Yes, the article appears to be unclear on this. What they mean is that in a traditional glider, the compressibility will be either larger or smaller than that of seawater. In either of these cases, maintaining a steady rate of descent requires more ballast pumping to readjust the buoyancy. These gliders have isopycnal hulls, which have very close to the same compressibility of seawater, and thus require very little ballast pumping in order to maintain a constant glideslope.

Re:Error in article? (1)

asadodetira (664509) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157686)

I see. That would be too much to write in a wired article for the general public.
Your explanation makes it clear that the seawater compressibility shouldn't be neglected.

Since it's supposed to use little power, I wonder if this would be useful as a means of transporting goods. Would be slow though.

Just imagine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18157402)

Man, can you imagine a Beowulf cluster of these???

not a submarine (5, Informative)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157432)

The reason this matters, from TFA, is that this is a glider, not a submarine. It's cheaper, lighter, and more energy efficient than dropping a big ball to the bottom of the ocean. This thing can drive around and look at stuff very similarly to how a non-crush depth submersible could do.

MOD Parent +5 (1)

INeededALogin (771371) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157510)

Did anyone even read the article(submitter included). This isn't a sub at all. It is the equivilant of a buoyancy controlled rock with sensors. It is cool stuff though, but these guys aren't gonna be using this thing to look at ship wrecks or follow sperm whales or anything.

Re:MOD Parent +5 (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157592)

Not quite. Unlike a rock, this thing can move around. With those wings, they can convert depth changes into forward motion. It seems buoyancy control uses less energy than a propeller, so they've got a very efficient propulsion system. The tradeoff is a low top speed.

The Religion of Global Warming Strikes Again (2, Informative)

N3WBI3 (595976) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157514)

How sad is it when a scientist sees something for the first time and rather than say 'I have no clue whay this is happening, I should study the reason this is happening' says 'This might be because of gloabal working, I should go look for a link'.

Re:The Religion of Global Warming Strikes Again (1)

Falkkin (97268) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157992)

How sad is it when a non-scientist is presented with evidence of a phenomenon for the millionth time and rather than saying "maybe these scientists are on to something after all" says "this must be religion striking yet again"?

Re:The Religion of Global Warming Strikes Again (1)

VENONA (902751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18158026)

Yeah, that would be sad, if it had happened. But it didn't. Please read TFA. No causality claims were made.

Progress? (3, Insightful)

PhotoGuy (189467) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157536)

It always amazes me, that we (well, humankind that is, I can't take all the credit) managed to dive to almost 40,000 feet with the Challenger [wikipedia.org] in *1951*, but haven't been back or deeper since! There is so much to explore on our own planet, and so much effort is being placed into going out into a vast, mostly empty vacuum, instead of looking under our own massive oceans, which are teeming with life (almost a new form, ever time we look at it).

The discoveries we are likely to make under our oceans, are undoubtedly going to be of far more relevance and benefit to our own lives on this little planet, that anything we find "out there." Yes, I think we should do both, but I think the depths of our oceans are severely and disproportionately neglected, except for the odd diving renegade.

Re:Progress? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18157718)

It always amazes me, that we (well, humankind that is, I can't take all the credit) managed to dive to almost 40,000 feet with the Challenger in *1951*, but haven't been back or deeper since!


it is a little difficult to dive below the deepest point in Earth's oceans, you know.

Captcha is "record" - go figure

Re:Progress? (1)

asadodetira (664509) | more than 7 years ago | (#18158038)

To dive deeper,I guess we'll have to wait until the polar ice caps melt.

Re:Progress? (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157746)

did you follow that link? apparently, the Challenger is an 1100-ton survey ship. Quite the accomplishment to dive with that thing, indeed! :P

Re:Progress? (3, Informative)

asadodetira (664509) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157830)

the challenger was a sailboat carrying instruments. It didn't dive. The bastiscaphe trieste, did though. You probably were thinking about this one. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bathyscaphe_Trieste [wikipedia.org]

Re:Progress? (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157872)

Believe it or not, going to space is almost easier than going that deep.

IIRC, they had no windows and just touched the bottom before releasing ballast and returning to the surface.

Re:Progress? (1)

Creeture (55785) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157884)

Dude, HMS Challenger was a surface vessel, i.e. a rides-on-top-of-the-water boat. The 40,000 feet you reference was really about 35,800 and was surveyed by echo sounding. But hey, thanks for trying.

huh? (0, Flamebait)

Der Reiseweltmeister (1048212) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157644)

How does a sub dive crush "depths"? Depths can't be crushed, AFAIK. This headline is phenomenally confusing.

Re:huh? (2, Informative)

The Darkness (33231) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157776)

How does a sub dive crush "depths"? Depths can't be crushed, AFAIK. This headline is phenomenally confusing.
I agree that the language used in the headline sucks.. but just in case you were serious:

The "Crush Depth" of a submarine is the depth at which it is crushed by the pressure.

Thus the headline translates to: New Sub Dives Deeper than other subs without being crushed

Re:huh? (1)

Der Reiseweltmeister (1048212) | more than 7 years ago | (#18158182)

I understand the concept of a crush depth. But the thing that gets crushed is the sub, not the depth. The headline is(was... looks like they fixed it) just miserable. Does no-one proofread any more?

Error in the tile (1)

Orig_Club_Soda (983823) | more than 7 years ago | (#18157682)

Should be "...Dives *to* Crushing Depths"

Re:Error in the tile (1)

riceboy50 (631755) | more than 7 years ago | (#18158142)

I hope you were trying to be ironic with your comment title.

Global Warming? (1, Insightful)

cdn-programmer (468978) | more than 7 years ago | (#18158028)

Why do they think they have to toss in a comment on Global Warming?

Then...

Consider that the oceanic currents have cycle times measured in 1000's of years. Depending on where they are diving, if they are finding unexpected warming then this would mean that mankind would not be responsible for any presumed planetary warming... since the temperature of the water they are measuring was determined centuries ago.

However, closer examination of such a silly statment leaves one with a question... If they had to send this new fangled sub down to measure the temperature then what did they use before and if they didn't have anything to use before then did they really measure the temperature? If not - then one could say the temperature is unexpected but one could certainly not conclude it is warmer or colder since it hasn't been measured before.

Of course, I think the idea that Global Warming should be part of the story is kinda silly to begin with.

If I get modded down because of these observations then it just proves there is a huge knee jerk reaction going on by people who don't really think about things.

mod 3oEwn (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18158068)

a fuul-time GNAA Lite is straining 40,000 coming
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