Thu, Jun 07, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Ministry highlights 20th anniversary of SEATS program

By Chien Hui-ju  /  Staff reporter

A page from the Southeast Asian Time-Series Station Web site is pictured in an undated screen grab from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Web site.

Photo: Screen grab from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Web site

The nation’s marine observation station, known as the Southeast Asian Time-Series Station (SEATS), marks its 20th anniversary this year, and is considered one of the key long-term observation stations by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Center for Environmental Information, the Ministry of Science and Technology said.

Located in the South China Sea about 670km from Pingtung County’s Kenting (墾丁), the SEATS station was established in 1998 by the then-National Ocean Science Research Center to study carbon circulation as part of the UN’s ocean research program.

The station was established through pooled resources from Academia Sinica, National Taiwan Ocean University, National Taiwan University, National Central University, National Cheng Kung University and National Sun Yat-sen University.

“It is an important station to collect data about ocean acidification and global climate change for international academia,” the ministry said, adding that the two subject areas were derived from its original mission to study carbon and biochemistry cycles.

Of the eight long-term marine observation stations in the world, the SEATS station is the only one located in low-latitude waters, National Taiwan Ocean University marine environment and ecology professor Chou Wen-chen (周文臣) said.

Having built his research on data collected at the station, Chou has said ocean time-series research is mainly aimed at exploring the changes of carbon dioxide in oceans and its possible regulation mechanism.

A paper titled “Deducing acidification rates based on short-term time series” authored by Taiwan Ocean Research Institute assistant researcher Lui Hon-kit (雷漢杰) and Chen Chen-tung (陳鎮東), a marine science professor at National Sun Yat-sen University, published in the journal Scientific Reports in 2015, also relied on data collected from the SEATS site.

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