Seafarer citizen scientist ocean transparency data as a resource for phytoplankton and climate research

Last modified: 
December 13, 2019 - 7:34pm
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2017
Date published: 12/2017
Authors: Secchi Seafarers, Samantha Lavender, Gregory Beaugrand, Nicholas Outram, Nigel Barlow, David Crotty, Jake Evans, Richard Kirby
Journal title: PLOS ONE
Volume: 12
Issue: 12
Pages: e0186092

The oceans’ phytoplankton that underpin the marine food chain appear to be changing in abundance due to global climate change. Here, we compare the first four years of data from a citizen science ocean transparency study, conducted by seafarers using home-made Secchi Disks and a free Smartphone application called Secchi, with contemporaneous satellite ocean colour measurements. Our results show seafarers collect useful Secchi Disk measurements of ocean transparency that could help future assessments of climate-induced changes in the phytoplankton when used to extend historical Secchi Disk data.

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