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NOAA research vessel completes global science mission

Oct 22
NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown at sea
NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program
NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown at sea

NOAA’s largest oceanographic research vessel, NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown, steamed into its Charleston, South Carolina, home port on Oct. 22, 2018, after a 243-day voyage around the world to conduct scientific research and service buoys that inform global weather, climate and ocean forecasting. The ship sailed nearly 44,289 miles, made port calls in South Africa, the Seychelles, India, Australia and Hawaii, and opened its decks to international partner scientists and school children. During the mission that began on Feb. 23, 2018, the crew and scientists aboard the Brown:

  • Deployed, serviced and recovered more than 80 buoys that monitor ocean and weather conditions in the tropical ocean, including the weather maker, El Niño, and the Madden-Julian Oscillation, a phenomena that begins in the Indian Ocean and influences U.S. heat waves and flooding.
  • Made 14 tows using special nets to collect plankton, the tiny marine plants and animals that are the foundation of the ocean food chain.
  • Collected and analyzed more than 10,570 gallons of seawater from surface to bottom to investigate changes in ocean chemistry.


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