GCOS GOOS WCRP/OOPC IX/3
Ecosystem and Dynamics (GLOBEC) program. These programs provide critical links for
observing systems to science needs and research based observations. They are
interdisciplinary and involve good connections to the OOPC concerning carbon and other
interdisciplinary variables. In particular, OOPC interests are matched in terms of forcing and
feedbacks for biogeochemistry, ecosystems, and climate variability.
SOLAS research areas include: 1) air sea interaction, 2) CO
, DMS, and other
radiatively active gases and their effects, 3) the penetrative component of solar radiation and
its modulation, and 4) pH as it is decreasing and its effects on coral reefs and their
ecosystems. The IMBER program concerns: 1) global change, natural and anthropogenic
forcings and impacts on biogeochemical cycles and ecosystem dynamics, 2) questions that
involve impacts and alterations of relations between elemental cycling and ecosystem
dynamics, and 3) feedback mechanisms of the Earth system from these changes.
The discussion then focused on interdisciplinary sensors and platforms. Some of the
variables that are now accessible using different interdisciplinary sensors with various
platforms are listed below:
CO2 / O2 ships (underway), moorings, drifters
Macronutrients (nitrate, phosphate, silicate, ammonia) ships (underway), moorings,
drifters, AUVs, gliders
Micronutrients/Trace elements (iron) ships, moorings
Optics PAR, Spectral to hyperspectral inherent and apparent optical properties for
quantifying variables including penetrative component of solar radiation, particle size
distributions, phytoplankton biomass, primary productivity, phytoplankton by
groups/species (i.e., HABs, etc.), particulate organic carbon, bioluminescence most
platforms including profiling floats, color satellites (hyperspectral coming) [see
Oceanography June 2004]
Fluorescence phytoplankton biomass, carbon assimilation rates most platforms for
Optical plankton counters (sheet optics) ships, moorings, AUVs, cables
Video systems for identifying plankton ships, moorings
Acoustic backscatter (single and multi frequency) for zooplankton biomass and
distributions ships, moorings
There are several emerging sampling capabilities as well. These include: DNA
samplers on ships and moorings, mass specs and flow cytometers on moorings and large
AUVs, and chemistry and biology on a chip, emerging micro and nano technologies. The
platforms that can be used for deploying these instrumentation systems are evolving as well.
These include improved autonomous and remotely operated vehicles, cable serviced
observatories, moored and drifting profilers, and gliders.
There remain several important challenges for interdisciplinary sampling of the ocean.
These include endurance under adverse conditions, biofouling, integration of systems, cost
and resource identification, optimal strategies for sampling, and for some systems, power and
bandwidth requirements. Synthesis of the data with models remains a challenge, though there
is growing interest. International cooperation, coordination, and capacity building remain
challenges as well, but have been helped by the efforts of POGO. The transfer of technology
from outside oceanography might provide an important way forward.