regions. Such low pH water below the surface mixed layer results from respiration of organic matter and associated CO2 release, which can be exacerbated due to coastal eutrophication.
Some of the statements in Theme 3 appear to reflect an incomplete analysis of models used for ocean acidification and carbon cycle research. For example, our committee was surprised to see that the short term goals include a statement to “expand implementation of alkalinity as a tracer and incorporation of PIC and remineralization formulations in BOGCMs.” Ocean-Carbon Cycle Model Intercomparison Project (OCMIP) models have already been including the carbonate cycle and several present-day state-of-the-art models also include prognostic total alkalinity and a parameterization of the marine carbonate cycle taking into account several forms of calcium carbonate (e.g., Gangsto et al., 2011).
The issues of time frame (short- versus long-term studies) and prioritization of efforts are not adequately developed in some cases. For example, the development of an integrated description of processes occurring at the land-ocean boundary is stated as a long-term objective (10 years). However, there are no intermediate steps identified over the first 3 to 5 year period toward achieving that goal. How is the coupling of land and ocean processes envisioned to occur and how should efforts to study these processes be prioritized? In particular, which modeling approaches could be proposed to tackle the diversity and complexity of coastal systems?
In summary: The introduction would benefit from a fuller description of how modeling will contribute to the objectives of the Strategic Plan. In particular, it could explain how model studies can contribute to advancing each goal outlined in the FOARAM Act. In addition, the Strategic Plan could contribute to a more effective research program if it highlighted the need for integration of model studies with other research activities, such as observation and monitoring. The Strategic Plan needs to be expanded to include a discussion about the challenges related to modeling; limitations and uncertainties of model results; and the key issues related to model skill.
The FOARAM Act (page 9) mandates a Program Element to be developed with a focus on “[t]echnology development and standardization of carbonate chemistry measurements on moorings and autonomous floats” in the IWGOA Strategic Plan.
Theme 4 has an appropriate focus in terms of this mandate of the FOARAM Act. After a general discussion of issues related to improve-