Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 28 Issue 02

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Volume 28, No. 2
Pages 108 - 121


How Can Present and Future Satellite Missions Support Scientific Studies that Address Ocean Acidification?

By Joseph Salisbury , Douglas Vandemark , Bror Jönsson , William Balch , Sumit Chakraborty, Steven Lohrenz, Bertrand Chapron , Burke Hales, Antonio Mannino, Jeremy T. Mathis , Nicolas Reul , Sergio R. Signorini , Rik Wanninkhof , and Kimberly K. Yates 
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Article Abstract

Space-based observations offer unique capabilities for studying spatial and temporal dynamics of the upper ocean inorganic carbon cycle and, in turn, supporting research tied to ocean acidification (OA). Satellite sensors measuring sea surface temperature, color, salinity, wind, waves, currents, and sea level enable a fuller understanding of a range of physical, chemical, and biological phenomena that drive regional OA dynamics as well as the potentially varied impacts of carbon cycle change on a broad range of ecosystems. Here, we update and expand on previous work that addresses the benefits of space-based assets for OA and carbonate system studies. Carbonate chemistry and the key processes controlling surface ocean OA variability are reviewed. Synthesis of present satellite data streams and their utility in this arena are discussed, as are opportunities on the horizon for using new satellite sensors with increased spectral, temporal, and/or spatial resolution. We outline applications that include the ability to track the biochemically dynamic nature of water masses, to map coral reefs at higher resolution, to discern functional phytoplankton groups and their relationships to acid perturbations, and to track processes that contribute to acid variation near the land-ocean interface.


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