Ocean Biogeochemistry

Part of the series Global Change — The IGBP Series (closed) pp 239-267

Temporal Studies of Biogeochemical Processes Determined from Ocean Time-Series Observations During the JGOFS Era

  • David M. KarlAffiliated withDepartment of Oceanography, SOEST, University of Hawaii
  • , Nicholas R. BatesAffiliated withFerry Reseach, Bermuda Biological Station for Research, Inc.
  • , Steven EmersonAffiliated withDepartment of Oceanography, University of Washington
  • , Paul J. HarrisonAffiliated withDepartment of Earth and Ocean Sciences (Oceanography), University of British Columbia
  • , Catherine JeandelAffiliated withObservatoire Midi-Pyrenées
  • , Octavio LlinâsAffiliated withInstituto Canario de Ciencias Marinas
  • , Kon-Kee LiuAffiliated withInstitute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University
  • , Jean-Claude MartyAffiliated withLaboratoire d'Ocèanographie de Vidderanche
  • , Anthony F. MichaelsAffiliated withWrigley Institute for Enviromental Studies, University of Southern California
    • , Jean C. MiquelAffiliated withMarine Environment Laboratory, International Atomic Energy Agency
    • , Susanne NeuerAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, Arizona State University
    • , Y. NojiriAffiliated withNational Institute for Environmental Studies
    • , Chi Shing WongAffiliated withClimate Chemistry Laboratory, OSAP, Institute of Ocean Sciences

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A comprehensive understanding of the global carbon cycle is required to address contemporary scientific issues related to the atmospheric accumulation of greenhouse gases and their cumulative effects on global environmental change. Consequently, detailed in situ investigations of terrestrial and marine ecosystems are necessary prerequisites for developing a predictive capability of future environmental variability and the effects of human-induced perturbations. These investigations need to address broad questions regarding the distribution, abundance, diversity and control of key plant, animal and microbe populations and their interactions with their habitats. They must be conducted with an explicit recognition of the interdisciplinary connections between physics, chemistry, biology and geology in each ecosystem. Ideally, these field studies should be conducted at strategic sites that are representative of large biomes or in regions that are likely to exhibit substantial interannual variability over large areas. However, it is more important that the unique features of each site elucidate representative processes that underpin the dynamics of the wider ocean. Furthermore, these field investigations should be conducted for at least several decades, in order to distinguish natural variability from that induced by human activities.