Satellites will address critical science priorities for quantifying ocean carbon

Jamie D. Shutler*, Rik Wanninkhof, Philip D. Nightingale, David K. Woolf, Dorothee C. E. Bakker, Andy Watson, Ian Ashton, Thomas Holding, Bertrand Chapron, Yves Quilfen, Chris Fairall, Ute Schuster, Masakatsu Nakajima, Craig J. Donlon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


The ability to routinely quantify global carbon dioxide (CO2) absorption by the oceans has become crucial: it provides a powerful constraint for establishing global and regional carbon (C) budgets, and enables identification of the ecological impacts and risks of this uptake on the marine environment. Advances in understanding, technology, and international coordination have made it possible to measure CO2 absorption by the oceans to a greater degree of accuracy than is possible in terrestrial landscapes. These advances, combined with new satellite-based Earth observation capabilities, increasing public availability of data, and cloud computing, provide important opportunities for addressing critical knowledge gaps. Furthermore, Earth observation in synergy with in-situ monitoring can provide the large-scale ocean monitoring that is necessary to support policies to protect ocean ecosystems at risk, and motivate societal shifts toward meeting C emissions targets; however, sustained effort will be needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-35
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Issue number1
Early online date4 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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