Enduring two typhoons over a three-week period in August, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) researchers, working in partnership with the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST), have successfully deployed an OceanCube Observatory System in waters off Motobu Peninsula, Japan — a biodiversity hotspot that is home to ecologically significant coral reefs. The observatory system enables real-time monitoring of temperature, salinity, and other chemical, biological and physical data critical to understanding the health of and changes in the coral reef ecosystem.
Okinawa is situated at the northernmost end of the border between the Pacific and the Indian Oceans. The coral reefs there support the highest diversity of endemic species, plants and animals in the world. These coral reefs are also economically valuable, generating as much as 3 trillion yen ($30 billion) globally, and 250 billion yen ($2.5 billion) in Japan. (more…)