Turns out your dive computer can be used for more than just logging how deep and how long you dove.
A study just published in the science journal Nature finds that recreational divers’ dive computers have a potential to improve the monitoring of ocean temperatures.
Scientists’ usual sources of temperature information from satellites and buoys and such are always useful to track long-term temperature changes, according to the journal article:
“However, there is often a lack of depth-resolved temperature measurements. Recreational dive computers routinely record temperature and depth, so could provide an alternate and highly novel source of oceanographic information to fill this data gap.”
The study chronicled in the article used more than 7,000 temperature profiles taken from recreational divers’ dive computers and recorded from 1992 through 2012 on the diveintoscience.org website, and measured how accurate they were compared to other more traditional scientific instruments:
“Our results show that, with processing, dive computers can provide a useful and novel tool with which to augment existing monitoring systems all over the globe, but especially in under-sampled or highly changeable coastal environments.”
So there you have it. The next time you dive, think about uploading your log information to diveintoscience.org and your data could help scientists better track ocean temperatures.
For more info, check out the full Nature article here.