across various methodologies and for guiding the improvement of technology for such measurements. The Strategic Plan lacks adequate detail on these central issues. Thus, it does not include an exhaustive list of what needs to be measured or an adequate discussion of the varying requirements for accuracy and precision in different types of contexts. Consequently, the Theme’s discussions of how to improve the comparability of measurement approaches are somewhat vague.
In the context of needed levels of accuracy and precision in a given type of study, this Theme seems to provide the impression that all measurements require a state-of-the art level of uncertainty. While that degree of sophistication may be ideal, it may often be unnecessary considering the cost and training required for some measurements. Instead, a more nuanced approach could be to modulate the acceptable level of uncertainty (or error) for measurements in relation to particular research goals and funding. For example, carbonate system parameters may need to be measured with more or less accuracy and precision depending on the use of those data for hydrographic, biological, or other studies. Open ocean methods for high precision measurements of CO2 chemistry (i.e., Dickson et al., 2007) may not be necessary for similar measures in perturbation experiments or in highly variable environments. This distinction has already been emphasized in our analysis of Theme 1.
The committee finds that integration among Themes in the Plan could be improved if recommendations from this section concerning measurement standards (and to a lesser extent technology development) were linked more clearly to Themes 1-3. Thus, measurements discussed as related to monitoring in Theme 1 would be associated with recommendations for standards for the specified measurements in Theme 4. The Strategic Plan would also benefit from a more explicit explanation of core chemical, and if possible, biological measurements or a process by which such core measurements will be identified. Discussion in Theme 4 needs to also consider the relevance of these chemical and biological measurements (especially biological) as input for ecosystem models, thereby providing a link to core issues in Theme 3.
The discussion of technology development is somewhat less complete than the discussion of the set of necessary measurements (and their precision) required for gathering ocean acidification data. The text and long-term goals identify a need for improved, autonomous CO2 system measurement technology of various kinds, but make little concrete mention of other technology needs. The Strategic Plan notes the well-known difficulties involved in ensuring development and commercialization of new instruments, but without really providing any new insights into how to address this effectively. The Plan does mention some Federal mechanisms that are in place: NOPP (the National Oceanographic Partnership