A uniform, quality controlled Surface Ocean CO 2 Atlas (SOCAT)
A well-documented, publicly available, global data set of surface ocean carbon dioxide (CO 2) parameters has been called for by international groups for nearly two decades. The Surface Ocean CO 2 Atlas (SOCAT) project was initiated by the international marine carbon science community in 2007 with the aim of providing a comprehensive, publicly available, regularly updated, global data set of marine surface CO 2, which had been subject to quality control (QC). Many additional CO 2 data, not yet made public via the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC), were retrieved from data originators, public websites and other data centres. All data were put in a uniform format following a strict protocol. Quality control was carried out according to clearly defined criteria. Regional specialists performed the quality control, using state-of-the-art web-based tools, specially developed for accomplishing this global team effort. SOCAT version 1.5 was made public in September 2011 and holds 6.3 million quality controlled surface CO 2 data points from the global oceans and coastal seas, spanning four decades (1968–2007). Three types of data products are available: individual cruise files, a merged complete data set and gridded products. With the rapid expansion of marine CO 2 data collection and the importance of quantifying net global oceanic CO 2 uptake and its changes, sustained data synthesis and data access are priorities.