"Climate scientists have turned to the United States and Australian navies to deploy robotic measuring devices in the Indian Ocean where pirates have made the area too dangerous for researchers.
About a quarter of the Indian Ocean is now off limits to climate scientists trying to complete a global network of deep ocean devices that gather data crucial to climate change studies and weather forecasts.
"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," said Ann Thresher, an oceanographer with Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.
"That's pretty extreme when you're talking about climate research," she told Reuters from Hobart."
David Fogarty reports for Reuters July 15, 2011.