We are thrilled to announce the release of Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas (SOCAT) version 2023 which is now available on SOCAT website. SOCAT-based estimates have shown that the oceans take up a quarter of the CO2 emissions from human activity, thus helping to mitigate climate change and providing a way to balance the Earth's carbon budget. The latest update of the community-led Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas (www.socat.info), version 2023, has delivered 35.6 million, quality-controlled, in situ surface ocean fCO2 (fugacity of CO2) measurements collected between 1957 and 2022 with an estimated accuracy of <5 μatm.
The SOCAT synthesis products and the fCO2 measurements in them are key for quantification of ocean CO2 uptake at a monthly timescale, providing vital information for climate policy. However, the open ocean data collection effort has dramatically declined since 2017. SOCAT itself is at immediate risk upon losing its European data management team, while facing persistent funding shortfalls. The need for accurate knowledge of ocean CO2 uptake and its variation now and in the future makes sustained funding of accurate surface ocean CO2 observations and their synthesis imperative.