AOML's Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division


GOSHIP Repeat Hydrography/CO2 Inventories

Rik Wanninkhof, Jia-Zhong Zhang, Molly Baringer (NOAA/PhOD)

Chris Langdon (RSMAS/ U.Miami)


This multi-disciplinary international program reoccupies selected trans-basin sections on decadal timescales to document changes in heat, fresh water, carbon, nutrients, oxygen, and trace gases in the ocean. The work is executed in each major ocean basin by NOAA and NSF funded-investigators utilizing NOAA and UNOLS vessels (see graphics of cruise track below). Ship-based hydrography remains the only method for obtaining high-quality, high spatial and vertical resolution measurements of a suite of physical, chemical, and biological parameters over the full water column. The focus of this research is to quantify increases in anthropogenic carbon content and natural and climate induced changes in chemical and hydrographic features in the ocean, including:

  • Determine the distributions and controls of natural and anthropogenic carbon;
  • Reduce uncertainties in global fresh water, heat, and property budgets;
  • Determine ocean ventilation and circulation pathways and rates using chemical tracers;
  • Determine the variability and controls in water mass properties and ventilation;
  • Determine and attribute the changes of a wide range of biogeochemically and ecologically important properties in the ocean interior;

Major discoveries to date have been the accurate determining of heating of bottom water, and a small increase of carbon in the deep ocean. The program has also quantified the increases of CO2 in surface and intermediate water and its effect on ocean acidification.

A key aspect of the program is the open and rapid dissemination of data for utilization by the community at large. Program details can be found at www.go-ship.org and datasets are available at: cchdo.ucsd.edu/ and cdiac.ornl.gov/oceans/.