U.S. Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics, Northeast Pacific

Project Description
U.S. GLOBEC (GLOBal ocean ECosystems dynamics, http://www.usglobec.org/) is a
research program organized by oceanographers and fisheries scientists to
address the question of how global climate change may affect the abundance and
production of animals in the sea. The U.S. GLOBEC Program currently has major
research efforts underway in the Georges Bank / Northwest Atlantic Region, and
the Northeast Pacific (with components in the California Current and in the
Coastal Gulf of Alaska).


-To understand the effects of climate variability and climate change on the
distribution, abundance and production of marine animals (including
commercially important living marine resources) in the eastern North Pacific.
-To embody this understanding in diagnostic and prognostic ecosystem models,
capable of capturing the ecosystem response to major climatic fluctuations.

APPROACH: To study the effects of past and present climate variability on the
population ecology and population dynamics of marine biota and living marine
resources, and to use this information as a proxy for how the ecosystems of the
eastern North Pacific may respond to future global climate change. The strong
temporal variability in the physical and biological signals of the NEP will be
used to examine the biophysical mechanisms through which zooplankton and salmon
populations respond to physical forcing and biological interactions in the
coastal regions of the two gyres. Annual and interannual variability will be
studied directly through long-term observations and detailed process studies;
variability at longer time scales will be examined through retrospective
analysis of directly measured and proxy data. Coupled biophysical models of the
ecosystems of these regions will be developed and tested using the process
studies and data collected from the long-term observation programs, then
further tested and improved by hindcasting selected retrospective data series.

U.S. GLOBEC Northeast Pacific (NEP) Homepage:

Data is available on-line through the U.S. GLOBEC Data System at

[This information was adapted from the U.S. GLOBEC web pages.]