Remote-sensing observations relevant to ocean acidification

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Ocean acidification, a consequence of the ocean absorbing about a third of the anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted into the atmosphere, is poised to affect biogeochemical cycles and the seawater chemical system. Traditional research methods, such as field and in situ sampling, are precise and reliable, but are inherently limited in spatial and temporal coverage and resolution. This article summarizes remotely sensed products, including air-sea CO2 fluxes, total alkalinity, suspended calcite (particulate inorganic carbon), particulate organic carbon and calcification rates, which can be used to observe ocean acidification indirectly. Confounding factors and limitations of algorithms are major sources of errors. This article also discusses remote-sensing algorithms and satellite technology developments. Remote sensing, considering its great advantages and successful applications in climate change, will be an important tool in future studies of ocean acidification.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Chinese Academy of Sciences,Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, Yantai,264003, China 2: Research Centre of Remote Sensing of Marine Ecology & Environment, State Key Laboratory of Oceanography in the Tropics, Chinese Academy of Sciences,South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Guangzhou,510301, China

Publication date: December 10, 2012

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