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OCADSAccess DataNDP-080NDP-080 - Background Information

Background Information

The World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) Hydrographic Program (WHP) was a major component of the World Climate Research Program (WCRP). The primary WOCE goal was to understand the general circulation of the global ocean well enough to be able to model its present state and predict its evolution in relation to long-term changes in the atmosphere. The impetus for the carbon system measurements arose from concern over the rising atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2). Increasing atmospheric CO2 may intensify the earth's natural greenhouse effect and alter the global climate.

The carbon measurements, which were carried out on the U.S. WOCE Indian Ocean cruises, were supported as a core component of the Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS). This coordinated effort received support in the United States from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Goals were to estimate the meridional transport of inorganic carbon in a manner analogous to the estimates of oceanic heat transport (Bryden and Hall 1980; Brewer, Goyet, and Drysen 1989; Holfort et al. 1998; Roemmich and Wunsch 1985) and to build a database suitable for carbon-cycle modeling and the estimation of anthropogenic CO2 in the oceans. The global data set includes approximately 23,000 stations. Wallace (2001) recently reviewed the goals, conduct, and initial findings of the survey.

This report discusses the CO2 science team effort to sample the entire Indian Ocean for inorganic carbon (Fig. 1). The total CO2 (TCO2) and total alkalinity (TALK) were measured in the water column and the fugacity of CO2 (fCO2) in the surface waters [see Sabine and Key (1998) for a description of the fCO2 methods and data]. The TCO2 analytical systems were furnished and set up by Brookhaven National Laboratory under the supervision of D. W. R. Wallace and K. M. Johnson, and the alkalinity titrators were furnished and set up by the University of Miami under the supervision of F. J. Millero. During the survey, certified reference material (CRM) was used to ensure measurement accuracy. All shipboard measurements followed standard operating procedures (DOE 1994). This report focuses on TCO2 and TALK measurements. Because the team shared equipment throughout all nine cruises and so much material, including quality assessments of the data, has already appeared in the refereed literature, the report will be limited to a brief summary. Published documentation appears in appendices.

Last modified: 2021-03-17T18:30:28Z