GCOS GOOS WCRP/OOPC IX/3 
page 25 
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
2
,  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 
fluorometers 
   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. 
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