Seafarer citizen scientist ocean transparency data as a resource for phytoplankton and climate research
OPEN PloS one | 7 Dec 2017
SD Seafarers, S Lavender, G Beaugrand, N Outram, N Barlow, D Crotty, J Evans and R Kirby
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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