Scientific Goal and Objectives

The overarching goal of U.S. GLOBEC is to understand ecosystem dynamical processes in order to be able to predict the response of the ocean ecosystem and the stability of the marine food web to climate change. It embraces the following more specific objectives:

To achieve these objectives U.S. GLOBEC will:

  1. assess basic system characteristics

  2. benchmark populations and their environments including their natural variabilities

  3. measure biological and physical processes and rates

  4. characterize ecosystem sensitivity to climate forcing at regional to planetary scales

  5. determine critical global change variables

  6. design an operational ecosystem monitoring system which couples observations and modeling.
See Table 1 for details.

U.S. GLOBEC has identified several ocean ecosystem types for emphasis. To date these include: banks, shelves and shallow seas; eastern boundary currents; the Southern Ocean; and, critical regions of the open ocean. The detailed scientific objectives for these systems are presented in the next section.