National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2016

Empirical algorithms to estimate water column pH in the Southern Ocean

Williams, N.L., L.W. Juranek, K.S. Johnson, R.A. Feely, S.C. Riser, L.D. Talley, J.L. Russell, J.L. Sarmiento, and R. Wanninkhof

Geophys. Res. Lett., 43(7), 3415–3422, doi: 10.1002/2016GL068539 (2016)

Empirical algorithms are developed using high-quality GO-SHIP hydrographic measurements of commonly measured parameters (temperature, salinity, pressure, nitrate, and oxygen) that estimate pH in the Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean. The coefficients of determination, R2, are 0.98 for pH from nitrate (pHN) and 0.97 for pH from oxygen (pHOx) with RMS errors of 0.010 and 0.008, respectively. These algorithms are applied to Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling (SOCCOM) biogeochemical profiling floats, which include novel sensors (pH, nitrate, oxygen, fluorescence, and backscatter). These algorithms are used to estimate pH on floats with no pH sensors and to validate and adjust pH sensor data from floats with pH sensors. The adjusted float data provide, for the first time, seasonal cycles in surface pH on weekly resolution that range from 0.05 to 0.08 on weekly resolution for the Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean.

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