While measuring sea temperatures and predicting changes is key to long-term weather forecasts, a group of researchers have come up with an unusual way to improve the accuracy of prediction — attaching monitoring devices to sea turtles.

The researchers released five sea turtles in Indonesia, each fitted with a device on its back, to collect data in the Arafura Sea for three months, and predicted the sea temperature would be 0.4 C higher than usual three months later.

The prediction was almost identical to the actual temperature change observed by a satellite, according to the researchers, including Katsufumi Sato, a professor of marine biology at the University of Tokyo, and Takeshi Doi from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.