Effective data management is crucial for advancing the understanding of regional and global ocean carbon cycling, ocean acidification, and marine carbon dioxide removal (mCDR). It is also an essential element of Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) for carbon credit accounting in mCDR. NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) is a globally recognized World Data Service for Oceanography (WDS-Oceanography) as designed by the International Council for Science (ICSU) through a 2008 resolution of the 29th United Nations General Assembly. NCEI's reputation as a world leader in oceanographic data management is exemplified by its world-renowned products, including the World Ocean Database (WOD) and the World Ocean Atlases (WOA).
The ocean carbon and acidification data management efforts at NCEI started in 2012, with the Ocean Acidification Data Stewardship (OADS) project that was partially funded by NOAA's Ocean Acidification Program (OAP). Today, the new Ocean Carbon and Acidification Data System (OCADS) is one of the world's leading providers of ocean carbon and acidification data, information, and products. OCADS manages a wide range of ocean carbon and acidification data, including chemical, physical, and biological observations collected from research vessels, ships of opportunity, and uncrewed platforms, as well as laboratory experiment results, and model outputs. Additionally, OCADS serves as a repository for Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) biogeochemistry Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs) that are closely related to ocean carbon and acidification research, e.g., oxygen, nutrients, transient tracers, and stable isotopes.
The success of OCADS can be attributed to its customer-centric approach that prioritizes gathering feedback, knowledge, and expertise from the research community to build data management services tailored to the needs and preferences of the research community. It features a community-driven metadata template that was built using a bottom-up approach, working closely with the research community. This metadata template is the foundation of all the tailored OCADS interfaces, including a digital submission interface called "the Scientific Data Information System (SDIS)", a metadata management and display interface called "the Rich Metadata Management System (RMMS)", and a user-friendly data search and access interface, called the "Ocean Carbon and Acidification Data System Portal".
Additionally, OCADS benefits from NCEI's enterprise long-term archive system with version control and controlled vocabulary management capabilities. OCADS values the importance of making all ocean carbon and acidification data available through one portal and welcomes data submissions from researchers and organizations around the world. OCADS looks forward to working with the international oceanographic data management community to develop machine-interoperable metadata and data formats, and community-wide data management policies and procedures, to provide high quality data management services to the research community so that their data are progressively more findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable. Lastly but not the least, we are grateful for the continuous funding support from NOAA's Ocean Acidification Program and Global Ocean Monitoring and Observing Program.
To learn more about OCADS, please check out the newly published paper on Scientific Data: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-023-02042-0