Okay, so Iím pretty embarrassed to say that I totally forgot to do anything for World Oceans Day which was on June 8th Ė not good enough really but at least IWC stepped up with a new initiative to support a pioneering ocean environmental project, headed up by their partner, Cousteau Divers.

Cousteau Divers plans to study the effects of climate change by measuring the temperature beneath the oceanís surface, combining data from precision sensors with measurements taken by thousands of recreational divers. The aim is to give scientists a clearer understanding of how the oceanís temperature affects biodiversity and climate change.

FYI, the ocean absorbs about 90% of the planetís heat and produces more than half the oxygen we breathe. It acts as the Earthís air conditioning system, and feeds the hungry mouths of hundreds of millions of us.

A critical factor in understanding how the ocean stores and releases energy is its temperature; however, scientists still need lots more data in order to build a complete picture of how ocean temperatures vary at depth, especially in coastal ecosystems, which are home to the vast majority of oceanic biodiversity.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau created the Cousteau Society In 1973 as non-profit dedicated to the protection of oceanic life. His lifeís work adopts a deep respect for marine life and the willingness to help protect it.

This need to protect endangered species is just as relevant today as ever, and is something that IWC has been lending its support to since 2003. They paid tribute to the ocean-going pioneer with four limited special editions, while a fifth, the Aquatimer Chronograph Edition Jacques-Yves Cousteau, celebrated the 100th birthday of the famous researcher and filmmaker in 2010.

IWC has now extended its partnership with the Cousteau Society by supporting Cousteau Divers.

Cousteau Divers BTW was founded by Pierre-Yves Cousteau in 2009 to empower recreational divers worldwide to help study and protect marine life. Cousteau Divers focusses on citizen science, outreach and conservation, working closely with the Cousteau Society.

A team of Cousteau Diversí volunteer engineers, led by Brad Bazemore and Brendan Walters, have developed a prototype for a portable precision temperature sensor. The device will track GPS and underwater navigational information, and measure the temperature with high degrees of accuracy.

As a systems platform, the device will later be able to include additional oceanographic measurements such as conductivity, optical density and pH. Capiche?

Approximately 50 of these sensors will be deployed to dive centers globally, at locations selected with the help of scientific partners. The entire project is open source, meaning that both the hardware and the software designs are available online, in order to foster innovation and creativity from the global communities of both divers and engineers.

This pilot deployment will last for 18 months to gather user feedback and verify the validity of the data collected before a second, larger deployment takes place. At this point, the online platform will accept a variety of oceanographic data sources.

Thanks to this collaborative effort, Cousteau Divers has the potential to reveal the temperature of the ocean with scientific accuracy, in near real-time, and using cost-effective citizen science.

Shown in these images is Pierre-Yves Cousteau, marine conservationist and founder of Cousteau Divers, who is wearing an Aquatimer Chronograph Edition Expedition Jacques-Yves Cousteau ref. IW376805. All photos are by Remy Steiner for IWC.

BTW love the throwback divers outfit with beanie - classic Cousteau!