Observing ocean acidification from space

Space-based observations provide synoptic coverage of surface ocean temperature, winds, sea surface height, and color useful to a wide range of oceanographic applications. These measurements are increasingly applied to monitor large-scale environmental and climate processes that can have an impact on important managed marine resources. From observing the development of harmful algal blooms using ocean color to tracking regions of thermal stress that can induce coral bleaching, satellites are routinely used for environmental monitoring. Here, we demonstrate an approach to monitoring changes in sea surface ocean chemistry in response to ocean acidification as applied to the Greater Caribbean Region. The method is based on regionally specific empirical algorithms derived from ongoing ship measurements applied to remotely sensed observables. This tool is important for exploring regional to basin-wide trends in ocean acidification on seasonal to interannual time scales.

Gledhill, D.K., Wanninkhof, R. and Eakin, C.M., 2009. Observing Ocean Acidification from Space. Oceanography 22(4): 48-59. Article.

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