Scientists from 70 countries have just begun a hundred-day international experiment to improve long-range weather forecasting.
GV Canadian weather ship in Dakar harbour
CU United Nations and Senegalese flags
LV & CU Weather dome on Canadian ship PAN DOWN ship
GV PAN FROM Weather balloon TO American weather ships in harbour
GV French ships
GV PAN Weather balloon TO NOAA boat
SV INT PAN FROM Flags of participating countries TO telex machines
SV Official explains location chart to African visitors
SV PAN Operators at telex and radio equipment
SCU Operator sending morse codo
CU Visitors in operations room
CU Ticker tape messages
CU Official shows photograph and explains to visitors
SV PAN Soviet aircraft on tarmac
CU PAN ALONG Soviet aircraft TO sightseers.
CU PAN US aircraft with sightseers going aboard
GV Airport building
GV Weather telescope
Initials BB/2209 A/AW/BB/2236
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Background: Scientists from 70 countries have just begun a hundred-day international experiment to improve long-range weather forecasting.
The experiment is being carried out in the Atlantic tropics. The operations control centre is at Dakar airport in the West African country of Senegal.
Forty ships -- the largest international fleet ever assembled for peaceful purposes -- are taking part in the experiment. The United States and the Soviet Union have donated satellites and other equipment. Thirteen instrumented research aircraft will also send back detailed weather observations.
It was decided to hold the experiment in the tropics because that is where the "heat engine" that drives the world's weather is found.
Most of the sun's heat is stored at the top of the tropical oceans. This heat gets into the atmosphere when vertical air currents transform the evaporating water into clouds -- but the scientists want to understand the process more exactly.
The experiment is only part of an international scientific effort known as GARP -- the Global Atmospheric Research Programme. The world's meteorologists are worried about the recent growth of the ice bolt, the continuing drought in Africa and the failure of the Soviet harvest.
Canadian Kenneth Hare, a former President of the Royal Meteorological Society, has said "I don't believe the world's present population is sustainable if there are more than three years like 1972 in a row."
SYNOPSIS: Until early September nearly a thousand satellite ground-receiving stations will be observing weather phenomena from five thousand feet under the sea to the top of the atmosphere -- with the help of thirteen instrumented aircraft. The whole project will cost about a hundred million dollars.