General Description

In this section methods are suggested as likely ways of answering the key questions driving the U.S. GLOBEC CCS program (Section V). Five program elements are identified that are deemed critical to addressing the important questions regarding the impact of climate change on marine animals in the CCS. These elements are:

Modeling, retrospective and comparative studies, and monitoring should begin as soon as possible (1995), with field work following by approximately two years. Within each element discussed below, we state the goals to be achieved in that element, the relevance to climate change, and provide more detailed questions and hypotheses that relate to the key questions driving the study.

We avoid developing a detailed implementation plan at this time, full of specifics about sampling strategy (e.g., target species, study sites). Instead we suggest several important scientific questions and possible ideas for the methodology needed to address them. This format should encourage investigators to apply their own knowledge, insight and ingenuity to craft a proposed research plan that lays out the methodologies to be followed to answer the key questions, using this document as a guide rather than a template. Certainly it will not be logistically (i.e., fiscally) possible to examine all the key problems described below, and we do not claim to have exhaustively listed all potential major elements of a CCS research program.

Consistent with this philosophy, we chose not to identify key or target species at this time. The following criteria will be used to select key species for study. Obviously, no one species or assemblage can fit all of the criteria; these are merely guidelines to be used in assessing the relative merit of any proposed target species, rather than an absolute set of conditions that must be satisified.

Criteria deemed useful in ensuring that the appropriate physical components (forces, processes and features) are selected for study. Physical processes of study must relate to the goal of U.S. GLOBEC-i.e., understanding how climate change and its effect on the physical system will impact marine animals. Physical processes that impact growth, survival and recruitment of marine populations are appropriate for investigation.