A new partnership between surfers, divers and scientists could help answer some key questions regarding coastal climate data.

As is the case with a lot of breakthroughs, the discovery of how effective this collaboration could be was accidental, according to Scientific American.

Data collected from a group of scientists who happen to surf proved invaluable. The scientists used specially designed surfboards that include special sensors. They found that in comparison to satellite data, coastal waters were consistently 1 degree Celsius/1.8 degree Fahrenheit lower. This can lead to conservation decisions being made based on faulty data.

According to Bob Brewin of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory:

“We cannot trust satellite data in the nearshore environment for monitoring long-term trends in sea-surface temperature.”

The scientists aim to build a large group of volunteer surfers worldwide, who can help to gather data from different locations around the world. The scientists not only want to recruit surfers but also scuba divers, who would use their dive computers to record temperatures at coastal locations and then feed the data into a central database.

The efforts of surfers and divers could prove crucial to getting up to date and valid data, at important marine sites across the world.