Editorial: The Atlantic Meridional Transect programme (1995-2023)

Rees, AP, Smyth, TJ and Brotas, V 2024 Editorial: The Atlantic Meridional Transect programme (1995-2023). Frontiers in Marine Science, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2024.1358174

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2024.1358174


Since 1995 the Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT) has undertaken measurements of oceanographic and atmospheric variables during 30 research cruises on a passage between the UK and destinations in the South Atlantic (Aiken and Bale, 2000; Robinson et al., 2006; Robinson et al., 2009; Rees et al., 2017). The transect spans more than 100° of latitude, samples to ocean depths of up to 1000 m and crosses a range of ecosystems from sub-polar to tropical, from eutrophic shelf seas and upwelling systems, to oligotrophic mid-ocean gyres. AMT has enabled the acquisition of repeat measurements of several Essential Ocean Variables and other ecosystem parameters and rate processes at a resolution of ~160 km (over ~13000 km). In delivering these activities AMT has facilitated long-term collaborations with NASA and ESA for the calibration and validation of satellite ocean colour sensors; with the UK Met-Office, NOC, NOAA, SOCCOM and University of Washington for ARGO and Bio-ARGO float deployment; and has maintained a long-term mooring in the South Atlantic Gyre (2009 to 2023). AMT data is archived and managed by the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC), whilst key data are also directed to other focus specific databases (e.g. NASA SeaBASS, ESA OC-CCI, SOCAT, CDIAC, SeaDataNet). The generation of sustained observations of ocean biogeochemical variables is invaluable in monitoring ecosystem function and health during this period of rapid climate and environmental change. Globally there are a number of initiatives which aim to make repeated observations which include ship transects such as GO-SHIP and GEOTRACES and deployment of hydrodynamical and biogeochemical sensors as part of the ARGO programme. Examples of fixed point observations in the Atlantic include: The European Station for Time-Series in the Ocean (ESTOC) which has provided observations of the eastern sub-tropical Atlantic for more than twenty five years (González-Dávila and Santana-Casiano, 2023), the Bermuda Atlantic Time Series (BATS) in the western sub�tropical Atlantic, which, since 1988 has documented increases in temperature, ocean acidification and decreasing oxygen (Bates and Johnson, 2021); In the north-east Atlantic,the Western Channel Observatory (WCO) has records dating to the early 20th century and in recent decades has further evidenced climate related shifts in plankton communities alongside increases in temperature and ocean acidification (McEvoy et al., 2023); the Estación Permanente de Estudios Ambientale (EPEA) in the western South Atlantic has evidenced increases in chlorophyll associated with an increased proportion of small celled phytoplankton (Lutz et al., 2023). The AMT offers a unique and alternative approach by making repeat measurements along a transect which incorporates the latitudinal range of all these fixed-point stations. AMT provides an inclusive platform for multi-disciplinary ocean research with cruise berths open to the international community upon request. The thirty research expeditions to date have involved 310 sea-going scientists from 81 institutes representing 31 countries, resulting in 400 refereed papers which are available here.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > National Capability categories > Atlantic Meridional Transect
Depositing User: S Hawkins
Date made live: 31 Jan 2024 11:21
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2024 11:21
URI: https://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/10124

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