National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2023

Advancing best practices for assessing trends of ocean acidification time series

Sutton, A.J., R. Battisti, B.R. Carter, W. Evans, J. Newton, S.R. Alin, N.R. Bates, W.-J. Cai, K. Currie, R.A. Feely, C. Sabine, T. Tanhua, B. Tilbrook, and R. Wanninkhof

Front. Mar. Sci., 9, 1045667, doi: 10.3389/fmars.2022.1045667, View open access online at Frontiers (external link) (2022)

Assessing the status of ocean acidification across ocean and coastal waters requires standardized procedures at all levels of data collection, dissemination, and analysis. Standardized procedures for assuring quality and accessibility of ocean carbonate chemistry data are largely established, but a common set of best practices for ocean acidification trend analysis is needed to enable global time series comparisons, establish accurate records of change, and communicate the current status of ocean acidification within and outside the scientific community. Here we expand upon several published trend analysis techniques and package them into a set of best practices for assessing trends of ocean acidification time series. These best practices are best suited for time series capable of characterizing seasonal variability, typically those with sub-seasonal (ideally monthly or more frequent) data collection. Given ocean carbonate chemistry time series tend to be sparse and discontinuous, additional research is necessary to further advance these best practices to better address uncharacterized variability that can result from data discontinuities. This package of best practices and the associated open-source software for computing and reporting trends is aimed at helping expand the community of practice in ocean acidification trend analysis. A broad community of practice testing these and new techniques across different data sets will result in improvements and expansion of these best practices in the future.

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