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Global hydrographic surveys have been carried out approximately every decade since the 1970s through research programs such as GEOSECS, TTO/SAVE, WOCE / JGOFS, and CLIVAR. Ship-based hydrography remains the only method for obtaining high-quality, high spatial and vertical resolution measurements of a suite of physical, chemical, and biological parameters over the full water column on a global scale.

The U.S. GO-SHIP program, funded by NOAA Global Ocean Monitoring and Observing Program and the U.S. National Science Foundation, contributes to the International GO-SHIP network of 55 globally sustained hydrographic sections to monitor changes in inventories of heat, freshwater, carbon, oxygen, nutrients and transient tracers, covering the ocean basins from coast to coast and full depth, with global measurements of the highest required accuracy to detect these changes.

The GO-SHIP principal scientific objectives are:

  1. Understanding and documenting the large-scale ocean water property distributions, their changes, and drivers of those changes, and
  2.  Addressing questions of how a future ocean will increase in dissolved inorganic carbon, become more acidified and more stratified, and experience changes in circulation and ventilation processes due to global warming and altered water cycle.

This program also provides a platform for global drifter, XBT, and float deployment and data for Argo sensor calibration, and support for continuing model development that will lead to improved forecasting skill for oceans and global climate.

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