Guidelines Towards an Integrated Ocean Observation System for Ecosystems and Biogeochemical Cycles
Hervé Claustre(1), David Antoine(1), Lars Boehme(2), Emmanuel Boss(3), Fabrizio D'Ortenzio(1), Odile Fanton D'Andon(4), Christophe Guinet(5), Nicolas Gruber(6), Nils Olav Handegard(7), Maria Hood(8), Ken Johnson(9), Arne Körtzinger(10), Richard Lampitt(11), Pierre-Yves Le Traon(12), Corinne Le Quéré(13), Marlon Lewis(14), Mary-Jane Perry(15), Trevor Platt(16), Dean Roemmich(17), Shubba Sathyendranath(16), Uwe Send(17), Pierre Testor(18), Jim Yoder(19)
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The observation of biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems has traditionally been based on ship-based platforms. The obvious consequence is that the measured properties have been dramatically undersampled. Recent technological advances in miniature, low power biogeochemical sensors and autonomous platforms open remarkable perspectives for observing the "biological" ocean, notably at critical spatio-temporal scales which have been out of reach until present. The availability of this new observation technology thus makes it possible to envision the development of a globally integrated observation system that would serve both scientific as well as operational needs. This in situ system should be fully designed and implemented in tight synergy with two other essential elements of an ocean observation system, first satellite ocean color radiometry and second advanced numerical models of biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems.
This paper gives guidelines and recommendations for the design of such system. The core biological and biogeochemical variables to be implemented are first reviewed, trying also to identify those for which the observational demand is high although the technology is not yet mature. A review of the five platforms now available (gliders, floats, animals with sensors, mooring at eulerian site and ships) allows their specific strengths with regards to biological and biogeochemical observations to be identified as well as to point out the community plans with respect to ongoing implementation. The critical issue of data management is addressed, acknowledging that the availability of tremendous amounts of data allowed by these technological advances will require an extraordinary effort on behalf of the community with respect to data management, i.e. data availability in open access and the development of various quality control procedures (in real time as well as delayed mode).
Because physical forcing determines the response of the biological and biogeochemical system, it is possible and highly desirable for maximum utility that the new technology will allow the measurement of physical and biological variables to be conducted at the same resolution. Similarly, the obvious complementarities between satellite ocean color radiometry, which is synoptic but limited to the surface layer, with in situ measurements, which extend the satellite data into the ocean interior, have to be the starting point for developing fully 3D/4D assimilative forecasts of the biological ocean. Finally, while implementing a globally integrated system is obviously the long-term target for our community, we recommend starting "simple" by implementing the concept of such an integrated system first at the regional scale. It is proposed to begin to study regional biogeochemical hot spots of global biogeochemical relevance. For example, the Eastern boundary currents with associated oxygen minimum zones, as well as the North Atlantic, could represent interesting "super site" case studies where an international coordinated effort could be undertaken for such "prototype" integrated systems to be set up.
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This paper shall be cited as:
Claustre, H. & Co-Authors (2010). "Guidelines Towards an Integrated Ocean Observation System for Ecosystems and Biogeochemical Cycles" in Proceedings of OceanObs’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society (Vol. 1), Venice, Italy, 21-25 September 2009, Hall, J., Harrison, D.E. & Stammer, D., Eds., ESA Publication WPP-306, doi:10.5270/OceanObs09.pp.14
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