The size and coordination of the research program will be determined by the scope of the problem addressed. Despite the size of ocean research programs, NOAA will continue its commitment and involvement in ocean science, which is fundamental to achieving NOAA's mission.
Box 2-4 The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Major Oceanographic Programs
(Provided by Michelle S. Broido, DOE)
One of the DOE missions is to develop the information, scientific "know-how," and technology for identification, characterization, predication, and mitigation of adverse health and environmental consequences of energy production, development, and use. The DOE and its predecessors have a long history of supporting interdisciplinary studies of carbon cycling in ocean systems within this mission area.
DOE Involvement in Major Oceanographic Programs
The DOE Ocean Margins Program has completed an integrated multidisciplinary field experiment to assess the sources, sinks, and exchange of carbon and other biogenic elements at the land/ocean interface. DOE-supported scientists measured watermass movements; spatial and temporal concentrations of chemical species and particles; biological productivity; zooplankton grazing and bacterial respiration; ecological dynamics; and biogeochemical fluxes of organic particles, nutrients, and dissolved organic carbon between estuarine systems, the shelf, and the interior ocean near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
In conjunction with the NSF, NASA, NOAA, and the Office of Naval Research, DOE supported the U.S. participation in the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE). The DOE-supported activities focused on determining global distribution of CO2 in the ocean as a foundation for predicting future oceanic and atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide.
Value of Program Results to DOE
Over the last decade, DOE-sponsored research has promoted the development of cost-effective temperature and chemical sensors and facilitated global observations important for understanding the global carbon cycle. DOE pioneered the use of natural, bomb-generated, and tracer radiocarbon to understand ocean circulation, the factors controlling photosynthetic carbon fixation, and the fate of carbon in the sea. The completed CO2 measurements and WOCE hydrographic data will provide critical information for calibrating ocean-atmosphere interactions and carbon-cycle models, and they are important for determining how the oceans will respond to climate