Quantitative analysis of the carbonate species within clinical and environmental samples is highly critical to the advancement of accurate environmental monitoring, disease screening, and personalized medicine. Herein we report the first example of carbonate detection using ultrasensitive ion selective electrodes (ISEs). The low detection limit (LDL) of these electrodes was at least 4 orders of magnitude lower than the best currently existing carbonate sensors. This was achieved by a simple alteration of the sensor's conditioning protocol. This resulted in the reduction of ion fluxes across the membrane interface consequently lowering the LDL to picomolar levels. The proposed ISEs exhibited near-Nernstian potentiometric responses to carbonate ions with a detection limit of 80 pmol L(-1) (5 ppt) and was utilized for direct determination of carbonate in seawater. Moreover, the new methodology has produced electrodes with excellent reproducibility, robustness, and durability. It is anticipated that this approach may form the basis for the development of highly sensitive and robust ion selective electrodes capable of in situ measurements.