Observations and synthesis to establish variability and trends of oceanic pH

Lead Research Organisation: University of East Anglia
Department Name: Environmental Sciences


We propose a programme of observations, combined with analysis of past and ongoing time series, to discover the magnitude of surface pH variations at seasonal-up-to-decadal time scales. We will address the Atlantic, UK shelf and slope waters, and selected locations in the Southern Ocean, using data from time series stations and volunteer observing ships (VOS), measuring three parameters of the marine carbonate system. The programme will be integrated with the efforts of colleagues in other European countries, (enablng better and longer-term coverage, and of of a wider area). It will be co-ordinated with the Surface ocean carbon atlas project (SOCAT) which aims to produce the most comprehensive and up to date data base to access all the quality data relevant to ocean carbon uptake, and from which pH trends can be derived. Estimation of decadal trends change will be set against the background of intra- and inter-annual variation.


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Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
NE/H017046/1 01/10/2010 15/07/2013 £228,817
NE/H017046/2 Transfer NE/H017046/1 16/07/2013 30/09/2014 £116,578
Description Version 1 of the Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas (SOCAT) has been made public in September 2011.

Version 2 of SOCAT has been made public in June 2013.

Version 1 has been documented in 2 peer-reviewed publications (Pfeil et al., 2013; Sabine et al., 2013).

Version 2 has been documented in 1 peer-reviewed publication (Bakker et al., 2014).

Version 3 was made public in September 2015 and has been documented in a scientific publication (Bakker et al, 2016).
Exploitation Route SOCAT products are used for the quantification of the global ocean carbon sink. Publications documenting SOCAT are cited in at least 18 scientific publications (as of 24/04/2014).

SOCAT products can be used in process studies, for quantification of the ocean carbon sink and its variation and for the initialisation and validation of ocean carbon models.

The 2013 Global Carbon Budget has used SOCAT (Le Quere et al., 2013 - accepted for ESSD).
Sectors Environment

URL http://www.socat.info
Description Information about the ongoing acidification of the oceans is of substantial public and policy interest. This research provides essential baseline observation by which these effects can be assessed.
First Year Of Impact 2010
Sector Environment
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

Title Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas (SOCAT), version 1 products. 
Description The Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas (SOCAT) is a synthesis effort by the international marine carbon research community. Surface ocean CO2 data are put in a uniform format, quality controlled, documented and made public. Three types of SOCAT products are available: 1) individual cruise files, 2) synthesis files, 3) gridded data. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2011 
Provided To Others? No  
Title Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas (SOCAT), version 2 products. 
Description SOCAT is a data synthesis activity by the international global marine carbon community. SOCAT releases consist of 3 products: individual cruise files, synthesis files and gridded files. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2013 
Provided To Others? No