Paul G. Allen Philanthropy partners with NOAA for oceanographic climate change research


Jacob Beck


With much turmoil surrounding the topic of climate change, the world seems uncertain about the effects on the environment. With that in mind, Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, has embarked on a new philanthropic endeavour with the help of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Together, they plan to launch a new project called Jump-Starting Deep Argo, using high-tech monitors to explore conditions deep below the ocean’s surface, reaching nearly 6 kilometres into the murky deep.

Photo credit: NOAA.

Deep Argo will revolutionize deep-ocean observing,’ said Johnson, the project lead and a scientist at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle.

Designed to track temperature, salinity, and other conditions, Deep Argo will be launched off the eastern coast of South America and into the Brazil Basin beginning in 2019, joining the well-established Argo programme that has been operational since the early 2000s.

Biology, science and the environment are some of Allen’s main philanthropic focuses, and advanced research methods are important for understanding their full scopes. Therefore, Allen has agreed to donate $4 million to help fund the endeavour, in hopes that a better system for monitoring trends in the deep ocean will create a clearer picture of the state of climate change and a deeper understanding of its effects.

Deep Argo’s monitors will be a revolution in the way data is gathered in the deepest areas of the ocean. Until now, deep ocean data has been gathered mostly by cruises conducted infrequently, as far apart as every 10 years, beginning in the 90s.

The new monitors, by contrast, will provide data as often as three times each week. Should all go according to plan, Deep Argo will release about 30 of these newly designed monitors into the Atlantic Ocean.

Data from Deep Argo will be released to the internet to be analyzed by anyone who cares to join the conversation.

In addition to Deep Argo, philanthropy has been focused on a number of other climate-related issues: ocean acidification, forest preservation, and public policy within the United States.

Comments (1)

Genai Corban

Paul Allen's remarkable commitment to ocean research with NOAA's Deep Argo Project is an astounding leap forward in predicting global twenty-first century sea level rise.

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