Ocean Observing Supplement


In December 2022, The Oceanography Society plans to publish its second annual supplement to Oceanography magazine on “Frontiers in Ocean Observing.” As the executive committee for this publication, we are seeking initial interest in contributing short articles to this booklet. 


The purpose of the supplement is to widely disseminate information about the many different ways in which scientists observe the ocean to improve our understanding and support the sustainable management of the ocean and its resources. In a series of short articles that include high-quality scientific graphics and photos to bring topics alive for readership, the supplement will make ocean observing technologies, fieldwork, scientific results, and their societal relevance accessible to a broad audience. One of the aims of the supplement is to help explain the scientific and societal importance of ocean observing to funders, policymakers, and the general public.


As an open-access journal, a full PDF of the ocean observing supplement, as well as  individual contributions, will be openly available to the public on the Oceanography website at the time of publication. Hard copies of the supplement will be distributed at conferences as well as at other events. The first supplement, published online earlier this year, is available here


There is no cost to authors for publishing in this professional, high-quality supplement. Copy editing, design, and print and web distribution will be covered by sponsors, including Ocean Networks Canada (ONC), the Partnership for Observation of the Global Ocean (POGO), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Ocean Monitoring and Observing Program (NOAA/GOMO). We welcome additional sponsors.


Articles will be approximately 1,000 words and include one simple scientific figure or location map and several high-quality photos. Invited guest editors for the individual topics will review all letters of interest along with the executive committee, after which invitations will be sent to authors.


For the 2022 supplement, we continue to align the topics with the priorities of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and are seeking contributions within the following six related topics and themes:

TOPIC 1: Ocean-Climate Nexus

THEME: Observations for Marine Carbon Dioxide Removal (mCDR) 

GUEST EDITORS: Toste Tanhua (GEOMAR) and Jens Müller (ETH Zürich)

Climate is changing mostly due to increasing carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere, and concentrations would have been much higher had the ocean not absorbed a large fraction of the carbon. One effect of this carbon uptake is that marine ecosystems are increasingly stressed as atmospheric and oceanic CO2 levels rise and the ocean acidifies. Despite efforts to decrease CO2 emissions and decarbonize Earth’s atmosphere, severe climate effects on society are unlikely to be entirely avoided without carbon dioxide removal (CDR) strategies, with possible negative effects on marine ecosystems. Articles are welcome that show how ocean observations are helping to identify potential mCDR opportunities, that describe emerging technologies to measure the effectiveness of CDR actions in capturing CO2 over the long term, and/or that feature studies evaluating the potential adverse effects of human interventions on biodiversity and ecosystem function. 

TOPIC 2: Ecosystems and Their Diversity

THEME: Patterns and Trends in Ocean Biodiversity Under Climate Change 

GUEST EDITORS: Mark John Costello (Nord University) Qianshuo Zhao (Ocean University of China), Chares Lavin (Nord University), Cesc Gordo Vilaseca (Nord University)

Marine biodiversity (within species, between species, and of ecosystems) is changing in response to human impacts of overfishing, fishery bycatch, and pollution, and the continued warming, acidification, and deoxygenation of the ocean due to anthropogenic activity. We invite papers covering ocean observing efforts that record environmental and related biodiversity changes occurring in different ecosystems, from the coasts to the deep ocean and from the tropics to the high latitudes. We also welcome papers that address the link between observations and policy, including the Sustainable Development Goals and Convention on Biological Diversity Framework Targets.

TOPIC 3: Ocean Resources and the Economy Under Changing Environmental Conditions

THEME: The Economic Consequences of Ocean Acidification on Marine Food and Tourism  

GUEST EDITORS: Laura Falkenberg (The Chinese University of Hong Kong) and Jennie Rheuban (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

As the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has grown in recent years, so has the acidity of the global ocean. Because fisheries and marine calcifiers are critical components of the food web, a significant decline in their viability would have far-reaching consequences for marine ecosystems and in turn food security and the global marine tourism economy. Invited articles would include key observing elements related to ocean acidification locally, regionally, or globally and the ability to document effects of increasing ocean acidification on marine life, food security, and the global economy.

TOPIC 4: Pollutants and Contaminants and Their Potential Impacts on Human Health and Ecosystems

THEME: Assessing the Damage Caused by Marine Plastic Pollution

GUEST EDITORS: Luisa Galgani (Florida Atlantic University) and Shiye Zhao (JAMSTEC)

Marine plastics have become omnipresent and are expected to have a significant impact on marine ecology and biogeochemistry. An increasing range of observing capabilities are needed to capture the type and volume of plastics in the global ocean from the surface to the deep, but also their decay and interactions with the ocean’s chemistry and biota. Examples of such interactions include physical and ecological harm to marine fauna (entanglement, interference with feeding, habitat loss), adsorption and long-distance transport of marine pollutants and microbes (harmful, pathogens, or antibiotic-resistant species), and interactions with chemical and biological processes in the upper ocean that influence carbon dioxide production and its exchange between the ocean and atmosphere. Articles are welcome that focus on new techniques for quantifying marine plastic pollution as well as its long-term consequences on ecosystems and climate. 

TOPIC 5: Multi-Hazard Warning Systems

THEME: Ocean Observations for Coastal Hazard Warning

GUEST EDITORS: Benoît Pirenne (Ocean Networks Canada) and Soroush Kouhi (Ocean Networks Canada)

Coastal populations and their supporting infrastructures are increasingly at risk from ocean change, including sea level rise, storm surge, earthquakes, underwater landslides, seismicity, atmospheric rivers, and tsunamis. Sustained observations in the ocean are essential for building coastal resilience to disasters and climate change impacts. Through partnerships between science organizations, academia, government agencies and coastal communities data products can be developed using real-time data from observing platforms and operationalized computer codes. This theme will encourage submissions that describe observations and forecasting, alerting, and hazard research, the systems they help develop, and their applications in coastal communities. 

TOPIC 6: Technology

THEME: Environmental DNA Technology

GUEST EDITORS: Annette Govindarajan (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) and Luke McCartin (Lehigh University)

Environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis is rapidly being adopted into faunal biodiversity assessments in diverse marine ecosystems and can efficiently provide valuable information to scientists, policymakers, and the public to monitor ocean health and inform conservation and sustainability strategies. Technological advancements in several areas are required to integrate eDNA into ocean observing programs, especially those focused on mid and deep ocean regions. This topic area will focus on recent developments in all aspects of eDNA technology, ranging from sampling, molecular and informatics protocols, techniques, and resources, and interpretive approaches (including modeling and multi-modal sampling and sensing) relevant to ocean observing programs.


If you have questions about this supplement, please contact Oceanography editor Ellen Kappel ([email protected]). 


  • Expression of interest: July 15, 2022
  • Confirmation of contribution: August 15, 2022
  • First draft: November 1, 2022
  • Expected publication date: March 2023 

We look forward to hearing from you! 

The Ocean Observing Executive Committee 
Ellen Kappel (Oceanography magazine), Kim Juniper (ONC), Sophie Seeyave (POGO), Emily A. Smith (NOAA/GOMO), and Martin Visbeck (GEOMAR)


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