G7 Future of Seas and Oceans Initiative

G7 FSOI and IOCCP launch development of a Surface Ocean CO2 Monitoring Strategy

Photo by Sarah Lee on Unsplash

On 25 November 2021, the G7 Future of the Seas and Oceans Initiative (FSOI) Coordination Centre hosted a one-day workshop jointly with the 16th Session of the Scientific Steering Committee of the International Ocean Carbon Coordination Project (IOCCP) at the IOCCP office in Sopot, Poland. The event served to launch the activity “A Global Surface Ocean CO2 Monitoring Strategy“.

This activity, endorsed by the G7 FSOI at its working group meeting in June 2021, will run for two years to develop an internationally-agreed strategy and implementation plan for a global network that can be used by governments for coordinated investment actions. The activity will establish a scientific steering group and an International Mission Team. It will build on the existing Surface Ocean CO2Reference Observing Network (SOCONET), and include plans for a full-time coordinator as part of the OceanOPS Centre and support to operationalise the data management centres and the data synthesis project – Surface Ocean CO₂ Atlas (SOCAT).

This activity gained momentum at COP26 following the announcement by NOAA Administrator Dr. Richard Spinrad to establish a globally operational Surface Ocean CO2 Reference Network: The network will integrate established and proposed national and regional surface ocean carbon dioxide (CO2) research and monitoring efforts into a global framework, enabling countries to track changes in global ocean uptake of CO2 over time. Through international engagement, NOAA will facilitate the development of the global network and produce high-value products, such as observation-based annual updates of ocean carbon uptake and changes in ocean acidification, that are critical for decision making about ocean-based mitigation options and marine ecosystem health.”

The meeting was led by Maria Hood, EU coordinator of the G7 FSOI Coordination Centre, IOCCP Director Maciej Telszewski, and IOCCP lead expert Richard Sanders, Director of the EU Integrated Carbon Observing System Ocean Thematic Centre (ICOS-OTC). The IOCCP working group will develop a strategic outline and host an international workshop in the first quarter of 2022 with a goal of a first public release of the strategy in time for the 2022 UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon next June.

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