We observed O2 deficits of 0.5 to 2.0% (1 to 4 mol/kg) in the underway seawater lines of three different ships. Deficits in O2/Ar and isotopic enrichments in dissolved O2 observed in underway seawater lines indicate a respiratory removal process. A 1% respiratory bias in underway lines would lead to a 2.5-5 atm (2.5-5pbar) enhancement in surface water pCO2. If an underway pCO2 bias of this magnitude affectedall measurements, the global oceanic carbon uptake based on pCO 2 climatologies would be 0.5-0.8 Pg/yr higher than the present estimate of 1.6 Pg/yr. Treatment of underway lines with bleach for several hours and thorough flushing appeared to minimize O2 loss. Given the increasing interest in underway seawater measurements for the determination of surface CO2 and O2 fluxes, respiration in underway seawater lines must be identified and eliminated on all observing ships to ensure unbiased data.