Finding the Gulf Stream in the Old Days

Well Scarlett Knight is slowly trying to get to stream. The we will try to get the glider to remain in the stream as long as possible! But as we enter the Gulf Stream it is great to look back to the giants before us. While Ben Franklin was acknowledged to have mapped the stream, scientific focus on mapping the stream to understand its dynamics was a major focus in the 1950's and 1960's. In June 1950, the synoptic path between Cape hatteras and the Grand Banks of Nefoundland was mapped by Fuglister and Worthington. He is pictured with some oceanographic giants (pictured are Worthington, Bumpus, Fuglister and Riley). The efforts to map the Stream was very labor intensive, requiring many ships, many people, opertating under very rough conditions.

Given this, there was much effort to improve technology to make life better. Simple advances were invaluable!! For example, one classic paper in the 1960's showed that using a towed thermometer looking at the temperature changes at 200 m depth could track the Gulf Stream. The scientists could then use the data to adjust where the ship was moved, and this allowed them studied the spatial variability in this undulating Gulf Stream. The glider by virtue of its undulating behavior represents the next generation of this approach. The BIG advantage is that now instead of going to sea i get to sit now in really exciting committee meetings, fill out lots of progress reports, and answer my phone...... wait a minute, maybe the new future has some downsides........

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