Report: Assessing Requirements for Sustained Ocean Color Research and Operations
Satellite measurements of ocean color provide a unique global perspective on the health of the ocean by allowing scientists to track changes in the abundance and productivity of phytoplankton, microscopic organisms that live in the ocean’s surface waters and form the base of the marine food chain. Monitoring phytoplankton abundance can provide information on the ocean’s essential functions and resources, which can be used to assess long-term climate changes, evaluate support of fisheries production, and detect harmful algal blooms, among other uses. However, the nation is at risk of losing access to ocean color data because existing satellite sensors are aging, and planned new satellite missions might not be able to acquire data at the accuracy levels needed for climate research. This report reviews the minimum requirements to sustain global ocean color measurements for research and operational use and identifies options to minimize the risk of an ocean color data gap.
Links to other sources:
- Assessing Requirements for Sustained Ocean Color Research and Operations (Read or purchase at the National Academies Press)
NOAA Ocean Color websites