Unit Affiliation: Biology and Paleo Environment, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)
Accurate estimates in time and space of organic carbon export to the ocean interior via plankton net community production (NCP) for the global oceans (the biological pump) are essential for understanding the feedback between NCP, atmospheric CO2 and climate. Since integrated, multi-sensor satellite and in situ observations of many ocean variables are required to estimate NCP from space, this is a complex, interdisciplinary challenge. Satellite ocean color sensors are a fundamental component in estimating spatial and temporal variations in NCP. Therefore, NASA's PACE mission (NASA-PACE 2012), a mission included in NASA's Climate Architecture Plan (NASA-CAP, 2010), specifies a need for field programs to improve satellite algorithms and models to reduce uncertainties in estimates of NCP. Diverse data from sediment and glacial cores, and climate models, indicate that the Southern Ocean plays a large role in the glacial-interglacial variations in the biological pump, with considerable implications for variations in atmospheric CO2. The "Interdisciplinary Coordinated Experiment of the Southern Ocean Carbon Cycle (ICESOCC)" project is a NASA-funded field campaign scoping (planning) effort. Over 18 months and many public meetings and workshops, the ICESOCC team of 13 interdisciplinary scientists has integrated the input from scientific experts in ocean, atmosphere, ice physics, biogeochemistry, advanced observational tools (ship, autonomous, atmospheric gases and dust, cryosphere dynamics, winds), and models, to create a draft recommendation to NASA for field observations required to constrain uncertainty of NCP for the Southern Ocean.