Scientists are seeking the help of the Australian and US navies to repel Somali pirates who are threatening one of the world’s key climate monitoring programmes.
With about a quarter of the Indian Ocean currently off-limits to marine experts, Australian researchers have asked the navies to help them plug a critical gap in their study of international weather patterns.
They hope to deploy about 20 robotic instruments in a no-go area north of Mauritius. The instruments, which record ocean heat and salinity patterns, are programmed to submerge and eventually resurface to upload their data to satellites.
But with piracy in the western Indian Ocean making it too dangerous for commercial or research vessels to deploy the robotic devices, Australia’s government research department, the CSIRO, hope naval forces will help them out.