NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) scientists collect a variety of data to understand changing ocean chemistry and its impacts on marine organisms and ecosystems. The National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) serves as the NOAA Ocean Acidification data management focal point through its Ocean Acidification Data Stewardship (OADS) project. Ocean acidification (OA) data will be archived at and available from an ocean acidification data stewardship system at NCEI.
Ocean acidification data can generally be classified as either physio-chemical or biological. Physio-chemical parameters include, among others, pCO2 (measurement of carbon dioxide gas both in the air and dissolved in seawater), pH, total alkalinity, total inorganic carbon, temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen and water current speed. Physio-chemical data from the field are collected either by remote observing methods (buoys and gliders) or through direct measurement from ships (hydrographic cruises or volunteer observing ships).
Biological data from the field can be collected in similar ways, either by remote collection techniques or through direct measurement by scientists. For example, data about primary production (photosynthesis by phytoplankton) can be collected from buoys by measuring chlorophyll a, nutrient levels and oxygen. Biologists have many techniques for collecting biological data in the field, both from ships and shorelines. These collections can be instantaneous or from gear placed to collect organisms over time for later retrieval and analysis. During laboratory experiments on marine organisms, scientists can measure a variety of parameters including, calcification rates, growth, behavior, shell and otolith (ear bones in fish) growth , metabolic rate, and reproduction. Original datasets from all Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) research and the papers which analyze the data will be available through the OAP and NCEI.
The National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) is serving as the NOAA OA data management focal point by providing online data discovery, access to NCEI-hosted and distributed data sources, and long-term archival for a diverse range of ocean acidification data. The OAP and NCEI will build a collaborative relationship with shared responsibilities among scientists, data managers, and NCEI staff towards the implementation of an ocean acidification data stewardship system (OADS).