Central Scientific Issues

The PICES Implementation Plan presented a set of Central Scientific Issues. Key research activities related to these issues will include retrospective analyses, development of models, process studies, development of observational systems, and data management. The central scientific issues to be addressed by the PICES-GLOBEC CCCC program are:

  1. Physical forcing: What are the characteristics of climate variability; can interdecadal patterns be identified; how and when do they arise?

  2. Lower trophic level response: How do primary and secondary producers respond in productivity, and in species and size composition, to climate variability in different ecosystems of the subarctic Pacific?

  3. Higher trophic level response: How do life history patterns, distributions, vital rates, and population dynamics of higher trophic level species respond directly and indirectly to climate variability?

  4. Ecosystem interactions: How are subarctic Pacific ecosystems structured? Do higher trophic levels respond to climate variability solely as a consequence of bottom-up forcing? Are there significant intra-trophic level and top-down effects on lower trophic level production and on energy transfer efficiencies?
Examples of potential U.S. projects that could be conducted to address the subset of questions for each of three study regions (the oceanic and coastal domains of the Subarctic Pacific and the Bering Sea) were advanced at the U.S. GLOBEC sponsored workshop held in 1995 (U.S. GLOBEC Rept. No. 15, 1996).

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