Chemical processes in the ocean and at its interfaces with the atmosphere and the seafloor play a major role in regulating global biogeochemical cycles. Predicting the impact of human disturbances on these cycles requires a fundamental understanding of how they operate over a range of time and space scales. Unfortunately, the chemical properties of the ocean have not been sampled adequately at proper scales, or in some cases with adequate calibration standards, to create comprehensive global data sets for such understanding to be developed. Remote sensing of chemical parameters from aircraft and satellites is limited to few analytes and to the top layer of the ocean. Shipbased sampling has accomplished relatively few sampling tracks spread over time and over the ocean surface. The resulting lack of data limits our understanding of such processes as the air-sea flux of carbon dioxide (for understanding global warming) and the factors regulating oceanic primary production on a global scale.