Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 22 Issue 03

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Volume 22, No. 3
Pages 216 - 225


Observing Biogeochemical Cycles at Global Scales with Profiling Floats and Gliders: Prospects for a Global Array

By Kenneth S. Johnson , William M. Berelson, Emmanuel S. Boss, Zanna Chase, Hervé Claustre, Steven R. Emerson, Nicolas Gruber, Arne Körtzinger, Mary Jane Perry, and Stephen C. Riser 
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Article Abstract

Chemical and biological sensor technologies have advanced rapidly in the past five years. Sensors that require low power and operate for multiple years are now available for oxygen, nitrate, and a variety of bio-optical properties that serve as proxies for important components of the carbon cycle (e.g., particulate organic carbon). These sensors have all been deployed successfully for long periods, in some cases more than three years, on platforms such as profiling floats or gliders. Technologies for pH, pCO2, and particulate inorganic carbon are maturing rapidly as well. These sensors could serve as the enabling technology for a global biogeochemical observing system that might operate on a scale comparable to the current Argo array. Here, we review the scientific motivation and the prospects for a global observing system for ocean biogeochemistry.


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