Lousy Weather Forecasts May Be Pirates' Fault
Scientists can't collect ocean data, ask US, Australia for help
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Suggested by Larry-Crehore
Posted Jul 15, 2011 5:52 AM CDT
Workers at sea maneuver a robot that collects key data used for forecasting monsoon and rainfall.    (AP Photo/CSIRO)

(Newser) – Scientists have asked the American and Australian navies to help them deploy robots in a vast area of the Indian Ocean that pirates have made too dangerous for ordinary vessels. Deep-ocean robotic buoys play a vital role in climate change studies and weather forecasts, but researchers say pirate activity has left them with a huge blind spot, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

"We can't send anybody in that area. Research voyages have been canceled and I know there's a report of at least one ship that hired an armed escort," an Australian oceanographer tells Reuters. "That's pretty extreme when you're talking about climate research."