University of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory
Buoys deployed in the Arctic for the International Arctic Buoy Program measure air pressure and surface temperature. These data are widely used by both weather and ice forecasters. If the buoys are near other buoys or research stations collecting similar data, the air pressure measurements can be used to estimate wind speed and direction. The location of each buoy over time is tracked by a satellite. Tracking information is used to derive information on ocean currents or ice velocity, depending on where the buoy is deployed. In 2008, data from these instruments were employed to support the introduction of polar bears to the threatened species list.