RRS James Cook
RRS James Cook©

09 May 2007

BODC will undertake the near-real time and delayed mode data management for the NERC funded CARBON-OPS project.

Gwen Moncoiffe, the BODC coordinator, will be responsible for the project's data management. She will collaborate with scientists and technical support staff at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) and at the University of East Anglia School of Environmental Sciences.

Atmospheric concentrations of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) are at their highest levels in human history. The oceans act as a buffer to atmospheric CO2 accumulation by absorbing CO2 emissions. However, the ocean's future CO2 absorption capacity is unknown, and difficult to predict, as it is dependant on many different factors. The project aims to monitor changes in the difference in CO2 concentration between the ocean and the atmosphere (pCO2) and so provide early warning of any ocean-driven climate change effects.

Data will be gathered by five UK research ships and will be sent in near-real time, via satellite, to BODC. Here the data will be processed, quality controlled and archived, before being delivered to the Met Office for use in testing predictions from its ocean models. This will assist Government in making decisions concerning global climate, ocean acidity and the health of marine ecosystems.