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Bermuda Atlantic Time-Series Study

Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences
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Overview of BATS

BIOS (formerly BBSR) has a long history of oceanographic innovation. 1954 saw the implementation of the world's first significant deep-ocean time series, Hydrostation "S", from which data are still being collected. The longevity and success of the program eventually led to BIOS linking with the U.S. Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS) program to start the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS), another long-term time-series study examining biogeochemical cycles in the Sargasso Sea near Bermuda.

The potential for acquiring more diverse and detailed time-series data was a key motivator in allowing BIOS to establish the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study. The BATS team is involved in making monthly measurements of important hydrographic, biological and chemical parameters throughout the water column at sites within the Sargasso Sea. Collaborative research efforts in the Sargasso Sea between BATS and other institutions include the Oceanic Flux Program (OFP), a continuing time-series study of sediment transport measurements into the deep sea (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), and the Bermuda Testbed Mooring site, where the latest high-technology moored platform is combined with hydrographic and bio-optical sensors (USC, UCSB, MBARI, LDEO).

BATS is proving invaluable in the arena of environmental science by producing data that helps us to better understand global climate change and the oceans' responses to variations in the Earth's atmosphere. The BATS team is committed to maintaining its leading role in the field of oceanography and educating future scientists in an environment at the forefront of scientific discovery.

Research at BATS

Scientific investigation often generates as many questions as it answers. This has been particularly true in the area of oceanography. Big-picture questions (such as "How does the ocean react to global climate change, and what role does it play in ecosystem balance?") can be answered by in-depth analysis of data collected over a significantly long period of time.

The Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS) was established to uncover mysteries of the deep by analyzing important hydrographic and biological parameters throughout the water column. Pursuing this goal has enabled BATS scientists — and oceanographers worldwide — to completely revise their perspective on the ocean's physical, chemical and biological processes. Sustained time-series data collection has challenged longstanding paradigms and has begun to uncover exciting new observations about the ocean.

In particular, BATS and other deep-ocean time-series studies have highlighted the importance of biological diversity in understanding biological and chemical cycles. Biological diversity in the ocean results in a diverse array of metabolic processes, and consequently varied methods for the turnover of dissolved organic carbon, for example. BATS scientists have also focused on carbon exchange between the oceans and atmosphere, seeking an understanding of how oceans respond to the clear impact of humans on atmospheric carbon dioxide. Carbon removal pathways from the surface ocean that were poorly quantified a decade ago — "active carbon transport" by migrant zooplankton and food web influences — have emerged as significant terms of the Biological Carbon Pump.

The BATS team continues to explore open and active oceanographic questions, and to integrate new methodologies. By maintaining an innovative approach to ocean science, we preserve our position on the cutting edge of this vast and exciting discipline.


Access to the bats data can be made through a web browser via:

or via ftp with the following information:
username: bats
password: BATS1988

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