Research project

Pools of carbon in the ocean - ESA PML

  • Lead researcher:
  • Research funder:
    European Space Agency
  • Status:
    Not active

Project overview

This project evaluated existing and implemented new algorithms for estimating pools of carbon in the ocean using ocean-colour satellite data. Satellite data provides global and long term measurements with which to explore ocean processes and understand the importance of climate-change on the marine carbon cycle. We focussed on deriving estimates of phytoplankton carbon, total organic carbon, dissolved organic carbon and other relevant carbon pools.

Satellite data is commonly used by ecosystem modellers to validate model output. In this project we also considered methods used by ecosystem modellers to quantify ocean carbon pools alongside the methods ad assumptions used to develop satellite algorithms (e.g. assumptions that account for carbon to chlorophyll ratio). We assessed the consistency (or not) of the methods and the extent to which the satellite and model output would not be expected to match.

This study was also a vehicle to engage the user community of ocean-colour data, especially the ecosystem-modelling community, in discussion about how ocean colour products currently available (particularly from the Ocean Colour Climate Change Initiative, OC-CCI) and value-added to improve utility of the products for marine ecosystem modelling.

This project is in collaboration with: Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Lead researcher

Dr Anna Hickman


Research interests

  • The role of marine phytoplankton in biogeochemical cycles
  • Phytoplankton ecology, primary production, photo physiology and bio-optics
  • Understanding the physical controls on biological processes and associated feedbacks
Connect with Anna

Research outputs

Victor Martinez-Vicente, Hayley L. Evers-King, Shovonlal Roy, Tihomir S. Kostadinov, Glen A. Tarran, Jason R. Graff, Robert J.W. Brewin, Georgio Dall'Olmo, Tom Jackson, Anna E. Hickman, Rudiger Rottgers, Hajo Krasemann, Emilio Marañón, Trevor Platt & Shubba Sathyendranath, 2017, Frontiers in Marine Science, 4
Type: article
Hayley L. Evers-King, Victor Martinez-Vicente, Robert J. Brewin, Georgio Dall'Olmo, Anna Hickman, Thomas Jackson, Tihomir Kostadinov, Hajo Krasemann, Hubert Loisel, Rüdiger Rottgers, Shovonlal Roy, Dariusz Stramski, Sandy Thomalla, Trevor Platt & Shubha Sathyendranath, 2017, Frontiers in Marine Science, 4
Type: article
Astrid Bracher, Heather A. Bouman, Robert J.W. Brewin, Annick Bricaud, Vanda Brotas, Aurea M. Ciotti, Lesley Clementson, Emmanuel Devred, Annalisa Di Cicco, Stephanie Dutkiewicz, Nick J. Harman-Mountford, Anna E. Hickman, Martin Heironymi, Takafumi Hirata, Svetlana N. Losa, Colleen B Mouw, Emanuele Organelli, Dionysos E. Riatsos, Julia Uitz, Meike Vogt & Aleksanra Wolanin, 2017, Frontiers in Marine Science, 4
Type: article