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

PLENARY PAPERdoi:10.5270/OceanObs09.pp.24

Developing a Global Ocean Acidification Observation Network

M. Debora Iglesias-Rodriguez(1), Kenneth R.N. Anthony(2), Jella Bijma(3), Andrew G. Dickson(4), Scott C. Doney(5), Victoria J. Fabry(6), Richard A. Feely(7), Jean-Pierre Gattuso(8), Kitack Lee(9), Ulf Riebesell(10), Toshiro Saino(11), Carol Turley(12)

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The increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), originating largely from human fossil fuel combustion and deforestation since the beginning of the industrial era, is causing a decrease in ocean pH and changes to seawater carbonate chemistry. This process, termed ocean acidification, is now well established from modeling and field data, and the rate of change in ocean pH and carbon chemistry is expected to increase significantly over this century unless future CO2 emissions are restricted dramatically. The rate of CO2 increase is the fastest the Earth has experienced in 65 million years (Ridgwell and Schmidt, 2010), and the current concentration is estimated to be the highest in, at least, the past 50 million years (Zachos et al., 2008). Central to predicting the atmospheric carbon inventory during the 21st century will be understanding and predicting the adjustments in the ocean uptake and exchange of both anthropogenic and natural CO2. To quantify these changes on a global scale, an international interdisciplinary program of ship-based hydrography, time-series moorings, floats and gliders with carbon, pH and oxygen sensors, and ecological surveys is already underway. This program together with implementations of molecular technology will help scientists determine the extent of the large-scale changes in the carbon chemistry of seawater and the associated biological responses to ocean acidification in both open ocean and coastal environments. Indeedmany countries are presently engaged in ocean acidification research and monitoring activities. Some examples include the European Union (EPOCA, EuroSITES, MEECE), German (BIOACID), UK (UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme), US (emerging program supported by NSF, NOAA, NASA, USGS) and Japan (programs supported by MoE and MEXT) ocean acidification research programmes. The proposed activities will require a coordinated international research effort that is closely linked with international carbon research programs, such as the CLIVAR/CO2 Repeat Hydrography (GO-SHIP) Program, the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, and the IGBP programmes SOLAS and IMBER. The Global Ocean Acidification Observation Network will interface strongly with the data synthesis, archiving and management activities of existing international ocean acidification programs.

1School of Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre, European Way, Southampton, SO14 3ZH, UK
2Global Change Institute, The University of Queensland, St Lucia QLD 4072 Australia
3Alfred Wegener Institute, Am Handelshafen 12, D-27570 Bremerhaven, (Building E-2055), Germany
4Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0244, USA
5Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 266 Woods Hole Rd., MS# 25, Woods Hole, Ma. 02543, USA
6Department of Biological Sciences, California State University San Marcos, 333 South Twin Oaks Valley Road, San Marcos, CA 92096-0001, USA,
7Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115, USA
8Observatoire Océanologique, Laboratoire d'Océanographie, CNRS-UPMCB. P. 28, F-06234 Villefranche-sur-Mer Cedex, France
9Pohang University of Science and Technology, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Pohang, 790-784, Republic of Korea
10Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR), Marine Biogeochemistry-Biological Oceanography-Düsternbrooker Weg 20, 24105 Kiel,Germany
11Environmental Biogeochemical Cycle Research Program (EBCRP), Research Institute for Global Change (RIGC),Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), Japan
12Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Registered Office: Prospect Place, The Hoe, Plymouth PL1 3DH, U.K

Correspondence should be addressed to E-mail: dir@noc.ac.uk

This paper shall be cited as:

Iglesias-Rodriguez, M. & Co-Authors (2010). "Developing a Global Ocean Acidification Observation Network" 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.24

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