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Indian Ocean Observing System of India and US Will Reactivate

Utkarsh Classes Last Updated 15-04-2024
Indian Ocean Observing System of India and US Will Reactivate Agreements and MoU 4 min read

India and the US plan to restart the Indian Ocean Observing System (IndOOS), a network of 36 buoys stationed in the high seas. These buoys will collect detailed data on ocean and atmospheric conditions to help improve weather forecasts.

Key highlights

  • The IndOOS array of buoys, which is a crucial source of weather data, was neglected and fell into disrepair during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • This resulted in a lack of observational data, which is essential for weather forecasters. This is especially important since the Indian Ocean Dipole phenomenon is connected to the monsoon. 
  • To address this issue, M Ravichandran, the Earth Sciences Secretary, discussed with Rick Spinrad, the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the US, about reactivating the IndOOS. The moored buoys are part of the Research Moored Array for African-Asian-Australian Monsoon Analysis and Prediction (RAMA) programme, which was established in 2008 through a collaboration between the Ministry of Earth Sciences and NOAA.
  • NOAA has agreed to provide instrumentation, while India will provide ship-time starting from July to restart the RAMA program. The process will require about 60-90 days of ship-time.

Importance of IndOOS array

  • The RAMA moored buoys need to be replaced annually because the sensors become less accurate and the batteries run out. 
  • This maintenance is usually done by research vessels from Indonesia, India and South Korea, in collaboration with NOAA. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, these research cruises were suspended for over two years. Only one servicing cruise was able to turn around two buoys in the southwest Indian Ocean in January 2022, according to the weather scientists in the BAMS article.
  • Observations of the ocean are essential for various operational services, including cyclone warnings, storm surge alerts, monsoon predictions, and climate forecasts. The RAMA moored buoys also provide crucial data for air-sea flux products and satellite measurements, particularly for detecting harmful algal blooms.
  • Marine observations are essential in monitoring and forecasting weather and climate over the Indian Ocean and its neighboring countries.Ocean buoys are useful for maintaining continuous records of maritime activities, monitoring ocean health, and establishing baselines for studying natural variability and human-induced climate change.


Answer: USA and India

Answer: Indian Ocean Observing System
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