We would like to inform you that the International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Oceans (IAPSO), the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG), and SCOR--three groups of the International Council for Science (ICSU)--prepared a document entitled "Future of the Ocean and its Seas: a non-governmental scientific perspective on seven marine research issues of G7 interest". There are several key issues of interest to the marine carbon and biogeochemistry observing community discussed in separate chapters of the document, in particular devoted to: ocean acidification, de-oxygenation, and plastic pollution of the marine environment.
Fourteen international experts have considered the marine science issues raised by the G7 Science Ministers at Berlin in October 2015, providing the briefing assessments given in this report. Their work was led by IAPSO and SCOR.
The report in general concludes that the G7 countries have outstanding oceanographic capabilities, putting them in position not only to continue to provide world leadership in marine environmental research, but also to promote the application of research outcomes for their wider socio-economic benefit. The report further states that while many mechanisms exist to foster international coordination and collaboration in marine science, where relevant to the issues considered, they would "warrant additional G7 support to accelerate scientific progress and help achieve the sustainable use of marine resources."
With respect to ocean acidification (OA), the report emphasizes that "there is a particular need to advance understanding of the many factors affecting the temporal and spatial variability of pH; the complex effects of multi-stressor interactions; and the potential for evolutionary adaption under different rates of change." In order to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14 ("Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development"), there is need for coordinated and global-scale observations of OA, and the development of relevant OA indicators, implemented through the Global OA Observing Network (GOA-ON).
With regard to de-oxygenation, the report concludes that "better scientific understanding and monitoring of de-oxygenation and its impacts are required, involving new automated platforms, capacity building and international collaboration and coordination." The recommended G7 actions are directed at pooling resources to facilitate network-based coordination, as well as to promote capacity building initiatives in developing countries.
With respect to plastic pollution of the marine environment, the report highlights the need for G7 to support efforts in developing appropriate sensors and instruments capable of monitoring both large and small fractions of marine litter, and to promote harmonisation of relevant methods through inter-laboratory comparisons.