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Proceedings of OceanObs'09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society

COMMUNITY WHITE PAPER10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.64

A Global Sea Surface Carbon Observing System: Assessment of Changing Sea Surface CO2 and Air-Sea CO2 Fluxes

Pedro M.S. Monteiro(1), Ute Schuster(2), Maria Hood(3), Andrew Lenton(4), Nicolas Metzl(5), Are Olsen(6), Keith Rogers(7), Chris Sabine(8), Taro Takahashi(9), Bronte Tilbrook(4), James Yoder(10), Rik Wanninkhof(11), Andrew J. Watson(12)

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This paper identifies the important advances of the past decade that have delivered high precision pCO2 observations from ships of opportunity (SOOP), robust decadal climatologies of air-sea CO2 fluxes, and uniform data through coordinated quality control and inter comparisons activities, along with standardized instrumentation and procedures. The vision for the coming decade is to build on these successes to deliver an annual assessment and understanding of the regional and global trends in CO2 exchanges between the ocean and the atmosphere. The core challenges are the maintenance and expansion of the sampling scales and the development of robust high precision in situ sensors. Highest priorities for the next 10 years for a global sea surface carbon observing system are: - to deliver seasonally unbiased annual assessments of the regional and global trends in ocean - atmosphere carbon fluxes. These should comprise monthly global flux maps that are used as constraints for atmospheric inversions in order to improve the assessment of the global carbon budget, including the terrestrial component. This will form an important link between the ocean CO2 community and the global carbon budget assessment activities of the Global Carbon project (GCP) and its inputs to the periodic IPCC assessments. In order to achieve this, the following are necessary: - to implement an effective and integrated multi-platform pCO2 observing network that will reduce uncertainty in regional and global CO2 flux estimates to ± 10 - 15% of the annual mean flux; - to advance sensor and instrument development, allowing the density of global surface ocean carbon observing networks to be increased by deployment on additional key SOOP lines, moorings, Lagrangian platforms, gliders and profiling floats. - to understand and resolve the biogeochemical and physical mechanisms driving surface carbon, natural and anthropogenic CO2 air-sea flux variability and long term trend sand a link to ocean acidification by incorporating a robust set of ancillary observations; - to strengthen the capabilities of coupled climate-carbon models to forecast changes in the ocean uptake of CO2 and the effectiveness of CO2 emission mitigation strategies - to further strengthen. for instance through SOCAT, the international coordination of the carbon observations, data quality control, data archiving and the development of regular products for global and regional use.

1Ocean Systems & Climate Group, CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research), Stellenbosch 7599, South Africa
2School of Environment Sciences, University of East Anglia, University Drive, Norwich, NR4 7TJ UK
3IOCCP (International Ocean Carbon Coordination Project), IOC - UNESCO (Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) , 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France
4CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) Marine and Atmospheric Research, Castray Esplanade, Hobart Tas 7000, Australia
5LOCEAN-IPSL (Laboratoire d'Océanographie et du Climat: Expérimentations et approches numériques-Institut Pierre Simon Laplace), CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique), Université P. et M. Curie - Case 100, 4, place Jussieu 75252 Paris Cedex 05. , France
6Bjerknes Center for Climate Research, Allegaten 55 5007 Bergen, Norway
7AOS (Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences) Program, Princeton University, 300 Forrestal Road, Sayre Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544
8NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Pacific Marine Environment Laboratory, 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115
9Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory - Columbia University, Palisades NY 10964-8000 USA
10Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 266 Woods Hole Road, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA
11National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (NOAA/AOML), 4301 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149, USA
12School of Environment Sciences, University of East Anglia, University Drive NR4 7TJ Norwich UK

Correspondence should be addressed to E-mail: pmonteir@csir.co.za

This paper shall be cited as:

Monteiro, P. & Co-Authors (2010). "A Global Sea Surface Carbon Observing System: Assessment of Changing Sea Surface CO2 and Air-Sea CO2 Fluxes" in Proceedings of OceanObs’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society (Vol. 2), Venice, Italy, 21-25 September 2009, Hall, J., Harrison, D.E. & Stammer, D., Eds., ESA Publication WPP-306, doi:10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.64

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