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.


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.




Federal Funding Opportunity: Identification and Application of Acidification Thresholds in Coastal Ecosystems

National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) and Ocean Acidification Program (OAP)

The NOAA/NOS/National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) and the NOAA/OAR/Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) are soliciting proposals for the Identification and Application of Acidification Thresholds in Coastal Ecosystems. The goal is to develop a threshold detection and warning capability for ocean acidification in concert with other stresses. This includes identification of indicator species and parameters (ecological, economic, and/or social) to monitor that might provide early warning of impending change from one ecosystem state to another. Funding is contingent upon the availability of Fiscal Year 2018 Federal appropriations. It is anticipated that projects funded under this announcement will have a September 1, 2018 start date. Applicants should submit proposals not to exceed $350,000 per year for projects generally 2-4 years in duration, with a total multi-year budget not to exceed $1,050,000. Funding for this program is contingent upon the availability of funds, which may not have been appropriated at the time of this announcement.

Due Date: Letters of Intent must be received by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on December 8, 2017 and are required before submitting a full proposal. Full applications must be received and validated by Grant.gov by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on February 13, 2018. 

The full funding opportunity and information on how to apply can be found on grants.gov. 

For more information, please contact Beth Turner, NOAA/NCCOS, 603-862-4680 or elizabeth.turner@noaa.gov.

Thursday, November 9, 2017
Categories: Federal Funding

Federal Funding Opportunity: Regional Vulnerability Assessments for Ocean Acidification

Ocean Acidification Program

The Ocean Acidification Program is soliciting proposals for collaborative projects of up to 2 years in duration that synthesize ocean acidification information at a regional scale (e.g. Large Marine Ecosystem, large estuary or collection of small estuaries, and state or collection of states in US waters) to determine where societal vulnerabilities to ocean acidification exist or are emerging, in order to provide actionable information for marine resource decision makers. This funding opportunity will not support the collection of new chemical or ecological observations or species response data. Social science data collection is permitted. For more information visit the Opportunities page.  

Wednesday, September 7, 2016