BUOYS & MOORINGS
SHIP SURVEYS
GLIDERS
SHIPS OF OPPORTUNITY
CORAL REEF MONITORING

 

MONITORING

Understanding the exposure of the nation’s living marine resources such as shellfish and corals to changing ocean chemistry is a primary goal for the NOAA OAP. Repeat hydrographic surveys, ship-based surface observations, and time series stations (mooring and ship-based) in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans have allowed us to begin to understand the long-term changes in carbonate chemistry in response to ocean acidification.


Buoys & Moorings

There are currently 19 OAP-supported buoys in coastal, open-ocean and coral reef waters which contribute to NOAA's Ocean Acidification Monitoring Program, with other deployments planned.

Currently, there are two types of floating devices which instruments can be added in order to measure various ocean characteristics - buoys and wave gliders. Buoys are moored, allowing them to remain stationary and for scientists to get measurements from the same place over time. The time series created from these measurements are key to understanding how ocean chemistry is changing over time. There are also buoys moored in the open-ocean and near coral reef ecosystems to monitor the changes in the carbonate chemistry in these ecosystems. The MAP CO2 sensors on these buoys measure pCO2 every three hours.

Access our buoy data

 


Ship surveys

Research cruises are a way to collect information about a certain ecosystem or area of interest.

For decades, scientists have learned about physical, chemical and biological properties of the ocean and coasts by observations made at sea. Measurements taken during research cruises can be used to validate data taken by autonomous instruments. One instrument often used on research cruises is a conductivity, temperature, and depth sensor (CTD), which measures the physical state of the water (temperature, salinity, and depth). The sensor often goes in the water on a rosette, which also carries niskin bottles used to collect water samples from various depths in the water column. Numerous chemical and biological properties can be measured from water collected in niskin bottles.


Ships of Opportunity

Ships of Opportunity (SOPs) or Volunteer Observing Ships (VOSs) are vessels at sea for other reasons than ocean acidification studies, such as commercial cargo ships or ferries.

The owners of these vessels allow scientific instrumentation that measures ocean acidification (OA) parameters to be installed and collect data while the ship is underway. This allows data on ocean chemistry to be collected in many remote areas of the world's ocean, such as high latitude waters, long distances from land (e.g. mid-basin waters), and places not easily accessible by research cruises. These partnerships have greatly increased the spatial coverage of OA monitoring world-wide. To learn more, check out the Ships of Opportunity programs established by the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) and the NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic Marine Laboratory (AOML).


Wave Gliders

Scientists at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) are working with engineers at Liquid Robotics, Inc. to optimize a Carbon Wave Glider.

This instrument (pictured above) can be driven via satellite from land. Carbon Wave Gliders can be outfitted with pCO2, pH, oxygen, temperature and salinity sensors, and the glider’s equipment takes measurements as it moves through the water. The glider’s motion is driven by wave energy, and its sensors are powered through solar cells and batteries, when needed.


CORAL REEF MONITORING

NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) in partnership with OAP is engaged in a coordinated and targeted series of field observations, moorings and ecological monitoring efforts in coral reef ecosystems.

These efforts are designed to document the dynamics of ocean acidification (OA) in coral reef systems and track the status and trends in ecosystem response. This effort serves as a subset of a broader CRCP initiative referred to as the National Coral Reef Monitoring Plan, which was established to support conservation of the Nation’s coral reef ecosystems. The OAP contributes to this plan through overseeing and coordinating carbonate chemistry monitoring. This monitoring includes a broadly distributed spatial water sampling campaign complemented by a more limited set of moored instruments deployed at a small subset of representative sites in both the Atlantic/Caribbean and Pacific regions. Coral reef carbonate chemistry monitoring is implemented by researchers at the NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) and NOAA's PIFSC Coral Reef Ecosystems Division.

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW WE MEASURE CORAL REEF CHANGE


OAP SUPPORTED MONITORING PROJECTS

Why I put a pteropod in a CT scanner to study the impacts of ocean acidification

Tuesday, March 13th, 3pm EDT (12pm PDT)

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Why I put a pteropod in a CT scanner to study the impacts of ocean acidification
Presented by: Rosie Oakes, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

Tiny swimming snails, called pteropods, have delicate shells which make them vulnerable to changes in ocean chemistry. Their shells are made from aragonite, a more soluble form of calcium carbonate, which is predicted to be chemically unstable in some parts of the ocean by the middle of the century. Why have I spent the last 5 years studying them? Because these tiny organisms are key to understanding the big picture of ocean acidification – the more CO2 that we put into the air, the more CO2 is taken up by the ocean, and the harder it is for pteropods to build and maintain their shells. Pteropods also play a crucial role in the marine food chain, eating phytoplankton and small zooplankton, and being eaten by krill, sea birds, and fish. This means changes that impact pteropods have the potential to impact the whole ocean ecosystem.

The challenge of studying, and communicating information about pteropods is their size. They are about the size of grain of sugar. In this webinar, I’ll discuss how I used a micro CT scanner to image pteropods in 3D so I could measure their shell thickness and volume. I will then explain how I enlarge these 3D reconstructions to print them for educational purposes, and how you can do the same. Finally, I’ll introduce my new research direction, using museum collections of pteropods to decipher how they have been affected by ocean acidification since the industrial revolution.

Please email noaa.oceanacidification@noaa.gov to request access to the video recording and slides from this presentation.

About our speaker:  A geologist by training, Rosie stumbled into the wonderful world of pteropods after finding some shells in a sediment core she was working on during her Ph.D. Since then, Rosie has spent over 200 hours CT scanning pteropods and has used a variety of other imaging techniques to learn more about how these organisms may be affected by ocean acidification.

Rosie believes that it’s important to communicate science on all levels, and so in addition to travelling to international science conferences and publishing papers, she makes time to attend school science fairs and participate in outreach events (like this one!) in a hope to inspire the next generation of scientists. Originally from the UK, Rosie is currently living in Philadelphia and working as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

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