Building ocean profile-plankton databases for climate and ecosystem research
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Building ocean profile-plankton databases for climate and ecosystem research

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    We document the history and progress of two international ocean data management projects that have the goal of building the most comprehensive ocean profile-plankton databases possible. Such databases are crucial for scientific progress in determining the role of the ocean as part of the earth's climate system. These projects were initiated during the 1990s under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. The "Global Oceanographic Data Archaeology and Rescue" project has the goal of locating (archaeology) and digitizing (rescue) historical oceanographic data that exist in manuscript or electronic media form that are at risk of loss due to media decay. To date this project has resulted in a doubling of ocean profile data for the pre-1991 period. The "World Ocean Database" project has the goal of encouraging the construction of global and regional oceanographic atlases and improved quality control procedures for oceanographic data. The World Ocean Database 2001 and World Ocean Atlas 2001 represent two of the most recent products of this project.
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