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Best practices and method comparisons

The OA-ICC facilitates the development of standardized protocols, methods and tools for ocean acidification research to ensure the quality and comparability of results.

To help ensure high-quality and comparable ocean acidification data, the OA-ICC promotes the use and development of guidelines for both newcomers and established scientists working in the field. The OA-ICC encourages the use of best practices such as the 2010 Guide to Best Practices in Ocean Acidification Research which provides comprehensive guidance to scientists starting ocean acidification studies. The Centre also supports the development of updated guidelines and protocols, e.g. through the support of Working Group 149 of the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) which is currently developing a series of guidelines for ocean acidification research in a multiple-stressor context, including:

  • A course book;
  • A decision support tool for researchers to assist with the design of their experiments;
  • A virtual marine scientist laboratory application to test experimental setups; and
  • A series of interactive webinars with experts replying to frequently asked questions (FAQs).

These resources are expected to be available by fall 2018.

The OA-ICC also works with international partners to promote the development of new and simplified methodology to monitor ocean acidification and related data reporting guidelines. The centre participates in UN-led initiatives to address ocean acidification. This includes work with IOC-UNESCO to develop methodology for countries to report on the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 and its target 3 on ocean acidification.

The OA-ICC also supports projects to compare performance of different software packages used to calculate oceanic carbonate chemistry and add new features. For example, the option to carry out error propagation has been added, and new oceanographic standards for salinity and temperature have been included. Another recent activity compared a set of methods used to assess calcification rates in marine organisms, including the use of Calcium-45.

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