International Workshop to Develop an Ocean Acidification Observing Network of Ship Surveys, Moorings, Floats, and Gliders

26-28 June 26-28

University of Washington

Seattle, Washington, USA

In order to coordinate international efforts to document the status and progress of ocean acidification in open-ocean and coastal environments, and to understand its drivers and impacts on marine ecosystems, it will be necessary to develop a coordinated multidisciplinary multinational approach for observations and modeling that will be fundamental to establishing a successful research strategy for ocean acidification. This will facilitate the development of our capability to predict present-day and future responses of marine biota, ecosystem processes, biogeochemistry, and climate change feedbacks.

Required research elements include regional and global networks of observations collected in concert with process studies, manipulative experiments, field studies, and modeling. Global and regional observation networks will provide the necessary data required to firmly establish impacts attributable to ocean acidification. With support from the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program, the International Ocean Carbon Coordination Project, the Global Ocean Observing System, the Integrated Ocean Observing System, and the University of Washington, this international workshop will propose an integrated global observing network for both carbon and ocean acidification that addresses the requirements of nations affected by this emerging environmental problem in response to societal needs.

Building on the existing global oceanic carbon observatory network of repeat hydrographic surveys, time-series stations, floats and glider observations, and volunteer observing ships, the interactive GOA-ON map offers the best information available on the current inventory of global OA observing platforms. This is a strong foundation of observations of the carbonate chemistry needed to understand chemical changes resulting from ocean acidification.

Note to participants and contributors: If you would like to add or modify a platform, please fill out this on-line form: GOA-ON Survey


Workshop Goals

The principal goals of this international workshop are to:

  1. Provide the rationale and design of the components and locations of an international carbon ocean acidification observing network that includes repeat hydrographic surveys, underway measurements on volunteer observing ships, moorings, floats and gliders, taking into account existing networks and programs wherever possible
  2. Identify a minimum suite of measurement parameters and performance metrics for each major component of the observing system
  3. Develop a strategy for data quality assurance and data distribution
  4. Discuss requirements for program integration at the international level

The 3-day workshop will be held at the University of Washington on June 26-28, 2012 for a group of 50-60 international scientists and program managers. The workshop report will provide the strategy for the observing system for review and vetting and hopeful support by the member countries.

The focus of this workshop is to design a global ocean acidification observing network that will delineate the physical-chemical processes controlling the acidification of the oceans and its large-scale biological impacts (changes in productivity, nutrient distributions, etc.). The existing global oceanic carbon observatory network of repeat hydrographic surveys, time-series stations, floats and glider observations, and volunteer observing ships in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans can provide a strong foundation of observations of the carbonate chemistry needed to understand ocean acidification. Enhancing these activities and expanding the global time-series network with new carbon and pH sensors on floats and gliders will provide additional important information on the changing conditions in both open-ocean and coastal environments that are presently under-sampled.

Ideally, this network would also have the capability to measure CaCO3 saturation states, biological production rates and species functional group changes. Additional sensors for dissolved inorganic carbon and total alkalinity would also be beneficial for detecting changes in the marine inorganic carbon system including inputs of other non-CO2 sources of acidification. Measurements of net primary production, either directly or from nutrient or oxygen inventories along with an understanding of water movements in coastal zones, are also important to identify biological adaptations to ocean acidification. These additional measurements are needed to predict ecosystem responses to ocean acidification.

These activities will require a coordinated and integrated international research effort that is closely linked with other international carbon research programs. Leveraging existing infrastructure and carbon monitoring programs will enable research to be conducted efficiently and quickly. Identification of new time series stations, repeat surveys and underway measurements are also urgently needed in under sampled open-ocean and coastal regions. Moored buoys equipped with carbon system sensors and ancillary technologies for ocean acidification should be added to the present carbon network as well as adding new sensors to the existing network. The global ocean acidification observing network must be developed in a collaborative international context in order to guide international coordination and infrastructure development.

Finally, we will discuss what the role of the International OA Coordination Office will be in implementing and/or tracking the international network in terms of both the infrastructure deployment and the integration of the data collected across platforms and countries.



List of Workshop ParticipantsPDF