An operational monitoring system to provide indicators of CO2-related variables in the ocean

Demand by governments and scientists is increasing for indicators of CO2-related variables for the ocean. We describe a recent project, CARBON-OPS, during which a “supply chain” was developed for automated measurement of pCO2 in the surface of the ocean, data processing, and its use in providing information for research and policy development. Data are gathered by new pCO2 measurement systems on five UK research ships in the Southern Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and northwestern European shelf seas. These send data in near-real-time, via satellite communication systems, to the British Oceanographic Data Centre, where they are automatically processed, quality controlled, and archived. The data are then delivered to the UK Met Office and others for use in testing predictions from operational ocean models. These models will generate indicator products and assist government through the Marine Climate Change Impact Partnership, a partnership of scientists, government, its agencies, and NGOs, by providing information on ocean CO2 uptake, changes in ocean pH, and potential impacts on global climate and marine ecosystems.



Hardman-Mountford, N. J., Moore, G., Bakker, D. C. E., Watson, A. J., Schuster, U., Barciela, R., Hines, A., Moncoiffé, G., Brown, J., Dye, S., Blackford, J., Somerfield, P. J., Holt, J., Hydes, D. J., and Aiken, J. 2008. An operational monitoring system to provide indicators of CO2-related variables in the ocean. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 65: 1498–1503. Article.

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