79. Between control and complexity: The potential for experimental ocean science in the Biosphere2 mesocosm

Julia Cole (1)

1 University of Arizona Geosciences and Biosphere 2, Tucson AZ, 85721

How do we make the leap from controlled experimental studies to understanding the real ocean’s response to changing conditions? Marine mesocosms may hold an answer. These are experimental environments that combine the control of laboratory experiments with some of the complexity of natural ecosystems. Mesocosms allow researchers to address critical questions in marine ecology that can bridge the gap between small-scale controlled experiments and field observations, and provide low-cost access to a marine environment with an intermediate degree of complexity and diversity.

The University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2 ocean is the largest marine mesocosm dedicated to research purposes. The Biosphere2 ocean, because of its size and complexity, overcomes some challenges of smaller systems, such as scale and biodiversity. Originally conceived as a coral reef, the B2 ocean contributed significantly to early work on ecosystem responses to ocean acidification. As this mesocosm undergoes significant infrastructural and systemic improvements in the near future, the B2 Ocean research group is soliciting users and collaborators to help re-envision and design this facility as a unique and important tool for marine investigations to take full advantage of its resources.

Mesocosm studies can facilitate research ranging from basic biology to multi-factorial ecosystem studies that involve observation, perturbation, validation, calibration, long-term studies and testing of new technologies. Other applications can involve quantitative scaling (e.g. from eDNA to ecosystems), contaminant fate and transport, larval growth and survival, and instrument testing and training. Because the Biosphere2 receives nearly 100,000 visitors yearly, B2 research also contributes to a substantial public and K-12 education program.

78. Data Management for an in situ Ocean Acidification Experiment

Headley, K.L. (1)*, Peltzer, E.T. (1), Herlien R.A. (1), O’Reilly, T.C. (1), Miller, M. (3), Fountain, T.R. (2), Edgington, D.R. (1), Tilak, S. (2), Kirkwood, W.J. (1), Barry, J.P. (1), Brewer, P.G. (1)

1 Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, CA, 935039, USA
2 California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology, UCSD
La Jolla, CA, 92093, USA
3 Cycronix, Laconia, NH, 03246, USA

Questions regarding the use of laboratory studies of the effects on ocean acidification have led researchers towards conducting more integrative field studies. New techniques and methods are emerging to observe the systemic, long-term effects of increasing atmospheric CO2 on various ecosystems and habitats.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) has been developing a package of technology and expertise called xFOCE (exportable Free Ocean CO2 Enrichment). xFOCE aims to enable researchers to draw on existing technology, methods, and expertise to conduct cost-effective in situ ocean acidification experiments.

Because in situ experiments may be multidisciplinary, expensive, and complex, they may be conducted collaboratively to increase scientific productivity and reduce cost. Here we explore the use of open source software to monitor remote experiment sites, to reliably collect and distribute FOCE data, and enable collaboration.

In two MBARI FOCE implementations, low-cost hardware and open source software provide basic data acquisition and archiving functions. In collaboration with Calit2, we have used open source data streaming middleware components called Open Source DataTurbine, CloudTurbine and WebScan in different operational and science workflows. These enable users to view experiment data streams, including images, in near real time using a web browser from remote locations.

A local CloudTurbine server was configured using a PC. Data from the experiment site was mirrored to the CloudTurbine server, from which users could access it using WebScan or Dropbox. WebScan enables users to view image data and compose multi-variable time-series plots from CloudTurbine streams using a web browser.

Streaming data middleware enables the implementation of distributed observing systems. Open Source DataTurbine and CloudTurbine are easy to use stand-alone or to complement existing data collection infrastructure. The ability to review data remotely via web browser enables remote monitoring and is useful in collaborative and science workflows.

77. The Friends of GOA-ON Build OA Reporting Capacity in Under-served Areas

Mark J. Spalding (1)

1 The Ocean Foundation, Washington, DC, 20036, USA

During the 2014 “Our Ocean” Conference hosted by the State Department, Secretary of State John Kerry pledged support for building the observing capabilities of the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON). During that conference, The Ocean Foundation accepted the honour to host the Friends of GOA-ON, a non-profit collaboration targeted at attracting funding in support of the GOA-ON’s mission to fulfil the scientific and policy needs for coordinated, worldwide information-gathering on ocean acidification and its ecological impacts.

Recently, NOAA Chief Scientist Richard Spinrad and his UK counterpart, Ian Boyd, in their Oct. 15, 2015 New York Times OpEd, “Our Deadened, Carbon-Soaked Seas”, recommended investing in new ocean sensing technologies, particularly those developed during the 2015 Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE competition, to provide the basis for robust forecasting in coastal communities lacking the capability for OA monitoring and reporting, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere.

To increase OA monitoring and reporting capacity in Africa, an area where there are huge information and data gaps, GOA-ON has began a pilot program in Mozambique to hold training workshops for local scientists to learn how to operate, deploy and maintain OA sensors as well as collect, manage, archive and upload OA data to global observing platforms.

A partnership between the U.S. State Department (via their Leveraging, Engaging, and Accelerating through Partnerships (LEAP) program), the public-private partnership ApHRICA, GOA-ON, and the XPRIZE Foundation, will provide resources to begin OA monitoring in Africa, enhance capacity-building workshops, facilitate connections to global monitoring efforts, and explore a business case for new ocean acidification sensor technologies.

This partnership seeks to achieve the Secretary’s goal to increase worldwide coverage of the GOA-ON and train monitors and managers to better understand the impacts of ocean acidification, especially in Africa, where there is very limited ocean acidification monitoring.

75. A low-cost spectrophotometric system for automated and high-frequency measurements of seawater pH

Hugh L. Doyle (1)* and Christina M. McGraw (2)

1 Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, 7005, Australia
2 School of Science and Technology, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, 2351, Australia

Automated spectrophotometric procedures allow rapid and precise seawater pH measurements. However, such systems are time-consuming to build and typically quite expensive (ca. $20,000). Here, we present an inexpensive (ca $4,500) and fully automated spectrophotometric pH system.

This system integrates an Ocean Optics spectrometer with a custom flow cell. Automated fluid handling (including sampling and dye mixing) is controlled through a series of diaphragm pumps. By using small-volume flow cells and miniature pumps, analysis time and volume is kept to a minimum (<2 minutes and ~3 mL, respectively). An intuitive user interface was designed to simplify the measurement and minimise operator error.

To help ensure accurate measurements, instrument-specific calibrations are performed on each device using purified meta-cresol purple dye and following the procedures of Liu et al. (2011, Environ. Sci. Technol., doi: 10.1021/es200665d) over a range of temperatures and salinities. This calibration was further tested using seawater reference materials from the Dickson Laboratory at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Finally, the system was assessed using at-sea measurements obtained during a hydrographic cruise in the Southern Ocean (Earth-Ocean-Biosphere Interactions, RV Investigator 2016).

The low cost, rugged construction, and reliability of this device makes it ideally suited for ocean acidification studies where accurate, high-frequency measurements are needed.

Tracking The Drivers of Carbonate Accretion Rate Across the Central Pacific

Chair: Libby Jewett

Thomas Oliver (1), Bernardo Vargas-Angel (1), Nichole Price (2), Charles W. Young (1), Russell E. Brainard (1)
1 Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, University of Hawaii,
1846 Wasp Blvd. Bldg. # 176, Honolulu, HI, 96818, USA
2 Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, 60 Bigelow Dr. East Boothbay, ME 04544, USA

Using a simple, cost effective method called the Carbonate Accretion Unit (CAU), the Coral Reef Ecosystem Program at NOAA/JIMAR has been tracking carbonate accretion at 142 coral reef sites on 28 islands across the Central and Western Pacific.

Deployed for 2-3 years in reef habitats, CAU settlement plates accrete a diversity of organisms, including many calcifiers. The CAU units are recovered and assayed for total mass of accreted carbon, which we convert to an accretion rate over the total soak time.

Using a robust dataset of environmental covariates, from in-situ surveys and satellite measures, we assess potential drivers of carbonate accretion on CAUs by fitting general additive models to the measured rates and environmental covariates.

Here we will discuss these potential drivers of carbonate accretion and explore the implications of these findings, highlighting OA experiments needed for confirmation and potential implications for reefs in a carbonating ocean.

International, Interdisciplinary, Long-term Monitoring of the Ecological Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Coral Reefs Across the Central and Western Pacific

Chair: Libby Jewett

Russel E Brainard (1)*, Thomas Oliver (1,2), Anne Cohen (3), Nichole Price (4), Richard Feely (5), Simone Alin (5), Ian Enochs (6), Libby Jewett (7), Somkiat Khokiattiwong (8), Wenxi Zhu (9), Tommy Moore (10), Malou McGlone (11), Zulfigar Yasin (12), Andrew Dickson (13), Christopher Meyer (14), Robert Toonen (15)

1 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96818, USA
2 University of Hawaii Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96818, USA
3 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, 02543, USA
4 Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, East Boothday, Maine, 04544, USA
5 NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Seattle, Washington, 98115, USA
6 NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, Miami, Florida, 33149, USA
7 NOAA Ocean Acidification Program, Silver Spring, Maryland, 20910, USA
8 Phuket Marine Biological Center, Phuket, 83000, Thailand
9 U.N. Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission-Western Pacific Subregion (IOC-WESTPAC), Bangkok, 10210, Thailand
10 Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (SPREP), Apia, Samoa
11 Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines, Quezon City, 1101, Philippines
12 Institute of Oceanography and Environment, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Terengganu, 21030, Malaysia
13 Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, 92037, USA
14 National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, 20560, USA
15 Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawaii, Kaneohe, Hawaii, 96744, USA

Ocean acidification is predicted to have significant impacts on coral reefs and the associated ecosystem services they provide to human societies over this century. To inform, validate, and improve laboratory experiments and predictive modelling efforts, scientists and managers from NOAA, IOC-WESTPAC, SPREP, and the countries of the western and central Pacific Ocean are collaborating to establish an integrated and interdisciplinary observing network to assess spatial patterns and monitor long-term temporal trends of the ecological impacts of ocean acidification on coral reef ecosystems across gradients of biogeography, oceanography, and anthropogenic stressors.

Using standardized and comparable approaches and methods, these collaborative efforts are beginning to systematically monitor: seawater carbonate chemistry using water sampling and moored instruments, benthic community structure and abundance using biological surveys and photoquadrats, indices of crytobiota diversity using autonomous reef monitoring structures, net accretion and calcification rates using calcification accretion units and coral cores, and bioerosion rates.

NOAA has established baseline observations and initiated long-term monitoring at 23 U.S.-affiliated sites in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Marianas, Jarvis, Howland, and Baker Islands, and Palmyra, Kingman, Wake, and Johnston Atolls, and 2 sites in the Coral Triangle (Philippines and Timor Leste). Following two successful IOC-WESTPAC workshops, 22 additional sites are being initiated in Bangladesh (1), Cambodia (1), China (1), Indonesia (3), Malaysia (5), Philippines (7), Thailand (3), and Vietnam (1). Following two workshops and with support from New Zealand, SPREP has initiated efforts to identify multiple pilot ocean acidification monitoring sites in the Small Island Developing States of the Pacific Islands adopting similar approaches.

Collectively, these standardized observations of the ecological responses to ocean acidification will inform resource managers and policymakers in their efforts to implement effective management and adaptation strategies and serve as a model for the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON).

Surface Ocean pH Estimation: a Satellite Perspective

Chair: Thomas Trull

Roberto Sabia (1), Diego Fernández-Prieto (2), Jamie Shutler (3), Craig Donlon (4), Peter Land (5), Nicolas Reul (6)

1 Telespazio-Vega UK Ltd for European Space Agency (ESA), ESRIN, Frascati, Italy.
2 European Space Agency (ESA), ESRIN, Frascati, Italy.
3 University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom.
4 European Space Agency (ESA), ESTEC, Noordwijk, the Netherlands.
5 Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth, United Kingdom.
6 IFREMER, Toulon, France.

The overall process commonly referred to as Ocean Acidification (OA) is nowadays gathering increasing attention for its profound impact at scientific and socio-economic level, as one of the major foci of climate-related research. To date, the majority of the scientific studies into the potential impacts of OA have focused on in-situ measurements, laboratory-controlled experiments and models simulations. Satellite remote sensing technology have yet to be fully exploited and could play a significant role by providing synoptic and frequent measurements, upscaling and extending in-situ carbonate chemistry measurements on different spatial/temporal scales, for investigating globally OA processes.

Within this context, the purpose of the ESA “Pathfinders – Ocean Acidification” project is to quantitatively and routinely estimate surface ocean pH by means of satellite observations in five case-study regions (global ocean, Amazon plume, Barents sea, Greater Caribbean, Bay of Bengal).

Satellite Ocean Colour, Sea Surface Temperature (SST) and Sea Surface Salinity (SSS) are being exploited, with an emphasis on the latter. A proper merging of these different satellites datasets will allow to compute at least two independent proxies among the seawater carbon dioxide system parameters: namely, the partial pressure of CO2 in surface seawater (pCO2); the total Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC) and the total alkalinity (AT). Through the knowledge of these parameters, the final objective is to come up with the currently best educated guess of the surface ocean pH.

The innovation of this study lies mainly in the effort of unifying fragmented remote sensing studies and generating a novel value-added satellite product: a global and frequent surface ocean pH “cartography”. This will foster the advancement of the embryonic phase of OA-related remote sensing and will aim at bridging the gap between the satellite and the process studies communities, benefiting from their cross-fertilization and feedback.

Remotely-sensed estimation of alkalinity in coastal waters around Australia

Chair: Thomas Trull

Kimberlee Baldry(1,2), Nick Hardman-Mountford(1,2), Jim Greenwood(2), Bronte Tilbrook(3)

1 University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA, Australia
2 CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere, Floreat, WA 6913, Australia
3 CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere, Hobart, TAS 7001, Australia

The Australian coastline is over 36,000kn long and comprises diverse and unique marine life. Notably, it is home to iconic reef systems hosting many marine organisms with carbonate-based skeletons which may be sensitive to changes in pH and carbonate saturation states.

We have analysed time series measurements of physical and biogeochemical variables obtained from the IMOS national reference station network around Australia to assess the accuracy of prediction for total alkalinity in Australian coastal waters, comparing local, regional and global approaches. We then reconstruct alkalinity using data derived from remote sensing satellites.

Findings/ Conclusions
We find that regional algorithms applied to remote sensing data provide a cost-effective means of extending alkalinity estimates from point time series around the vast Australian coastline. Such approaches will assist with monitoring potential changes in seawater alkalinity due to predicted changes in rainfall patterns around Australia, hence with monitoring the progress of ocean acidification in these valuable ecosystems.

Measurements in the real world: Development of the Global ocean acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON)

Chair: Thomas Trull

Phil Williamson (1)*, Libby Jewett (2), Jan Newton (3)

1 Natural Environment Research Council & University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK
2 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring, MD 20910, United States
3 University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98105-6698, United States

Many marine organisms respond strongly to experimental changes in carbonate chemistry considered likely in future, based on increasing atmospheric CO2. But how relevant to natural conditions are the experimental controls (usually based on pH or saturate state relating to 350-400 ppm CO2), and how robust are models in simulating real-world variability and trends? To address those key issues, measurements are not only needed of changing water chemistry but also its main drivers (biological as well as physico-chemical), with such data covering the full range of marine environments, from the seafloor to the sea surface, from coastal waters to open ocean, and from the tropics to the poles.

The Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON) was developed to help stimulate and coordinate the worldwide collection, collation and sharing of high quality measurements of OA-relevant parameters, thereby improving our understanding of OA conditions and ecosystem responses. Network structure is provided by the GOA-ON website (www.goa-on.org); publications (e.g. GOA-ON Requirements and Governance Plan; Newton et al 2014) and meetings (including 3rd Workshop; Hobart 8-10 May 2016). Such activities are guided by an Executive Council, and a wide range of international and national sponsors (including OA-ICC of IAEA; IOCCP, GOOS and IOC of UNESCO; and NOAA).

GOA-ON is a young network, established in 2013. It has, however, already been influential in improving national OA capability and assisting international policy development (e.g. through the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and decisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity). GOA-ON has also focussed scientific attention on biological indicators of OA and regional syntheses of OA observations.

GOA-ON is an international network that provides crucial linkage between academic researchers and those involved in marine environmental monitoring, closely working with complementary activities. Much has already been achieved, yet the main outcomes are in the future.

antFOCE (Antarctic Free Ocean CO2 Enrichment) – ocean acidification under sea ice

Chair: Thomas Trull

Jonathan S Stark (1)*, James Black (2), Glenn Johnstone (1), William Kirkwood (3), Mark Milnes (1), Nick Roden (4), Steven Whiteside (1)

1 Australian Antarctic Division, Kingston, Tasmania, 7050, Australia
2 University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
3 Monterey Bay Aquarium research Institute, Moss Landing, CA, 95039, USA
4 CSIRO, Hobart, Tasmania, 7000, Australia

Free ocean CO2 enrichment experiments (FOCE) were developed to address the need for information on community level response to ocean acidification in natural habitats. The antFOCE project was the first polar FOCE system and was run at Casey Station, East Antarctica, over 8 weeks in early 2015.

The design consisted of 2 acidified chambers (at 0.4 pH below ambient), 2 control chambers (at ambient pH) and 2 open plots (no chamber). Chambers were 2 m long x 0.5 X 0.5 m. Chambers were deployed on sediments in 14 m of water under 2.6 m of sea ice. The aims included: 1) Characterising physical and chemical environmental changes in water and sediments; 2) Examining community responses including sediment bacteria, microphytobenthos, meiofauna, and macrofauna, and hard substrata biofilms and macrofaunal communities; 3) Examining the response of key ecosystem processes including bioturbation and sediment nitrification; 4) Examining the vulnerability of some calcifying species.

The deployment and running of this highly complex experiment in such an extreme environment presented many challenges which required a range of innovations to overcome. The system performed to its specifications, maintaining an approximate 0.4 pH offset for most of the 8 week period. Occasional power failures and other technical difficulties saw the pH revert to background for short intervals during the experiment, increasing the variability of the pH treatment. The saturation state (Ω) fluctuated between 0.7 and 0.8 but also reverted to background (approx 1.7) during outages. An overview of the system, its deployment and some preliminary results will be given, including effects on photosynthetic activity of microphytobenthos, on microbial communities, and other findings as they come to hand.

While it is too early to gain a full understanding of effects, preliminary results indicate a potentially large range of changes in this ecosystem from ocean acidification.