U. S. GLOBEC Scientific Steering Committee Meeting


Martin Johnson House

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

La Jolla, California

6-7 May 2004

Thursday, May 6, 2004

Members in attendance were Dale Haidvogel (Rutgers), David Ainley (H.T. Harvey), Michael Alexander (NOAA-CIRES), Nick Bond (NOAA), Ric Brodeur (NOAA/NMSF/NWFSC), Jennifer Burns (UA Anchorage), Kendra Daly (USF), Jonathan Hare (NOAA), Yochanan Kushnir (Lamont), Dennis McGillicuddy (WHOI), Arthur Miller (SIO), David Mountain (NMSF/NOAA), Steven Murawski (NMSF/NOAA), Mark Ohman (Scripps), Susanne Strom (WWU), Eileen Hofmann (ODU), Thomas (Zack) Powell (UC Berkeley), Teb Strub (OSU), Francisco Werner (UNC), and Peter Wiebe (WHOI). 

Guests in attendance included Marie Bundy (NSF), Madeline Gazzale (Rutgers), Linda Lagle (WHOI), Phil Taylor (NSF), Robin Smythe (NSF), Beth Turner (NOAA).

Dale Haidvogel, Chairperson of the SSC, called the meeting to order at 0830 hours.  Following a brief welcoming and introduction of the eight new SSC members, an overview of the meeting’s agenda was presented along with the minutes of the November 2004 SSC Meeting.  The minutes were approved and will be posted on the GLOBEC website.

Dale went on to discuss the US GLOBEC SSC Objectives which are:

  1. Improve efforts to understand the roles of ocean and atmospheric interannual variability/climate change in controlling ecosystem response
  2. Provide oversight and guidance of synthesis within and between US-GLOBEC regions
  3. Encourage national and international cross-study comparison/synthesis
  4. Ensure the availability of GLOBEC data
  5. Coordinate with ongoing efforts to upgrade and unify data management in the marine and geosciences
  6. Support the improvement of coupled physical/biological modeling and their application for ecosystem models
  7. Facilitate the transition of research results to ecosystem based management
  8. Help in the design of future ocean observatories
  9. Aid in the planning of future science initiatives

An opportunity was afforded to comment on the objectives, which were then approved.

 Southern Ocean GLOBEC Program

            Eileen Hofmann provided an update of the Southern Ocean GLOBEC Program.     The Southern Ocean GLOBEC Program was originally designed as a component of the International GLOBEC Program.  A timeline showed that planning for this program started in May of 1991 at Scripps with an international meeting that included participants from ten to twelve nations.  The first field season started ten years later in April of 2001 and ended a year ago.  The program included 11 cruises from the U.S. side of the program.    The Southern Ocean was chosen because of its strong linkage to climate and close coupling between trophic levels. The primary objective of Southern Ocean GLOBEC is to understand physical and biological factors that contribute to enhanced Antarctic krill growth, reproduction, recruitment and survivorship throughout the year. The focus of this research also includes the predators and competitors of Antarctic krill, such as seals, penguins, whales, fish, seabirds and other zooplankton.

The Southern Ocean program has a large top predator component.  Antarctic krill is the focus of Southern Ocean GLOBEC as is determining the mechanisms by which Antarctic krill overwinter.  Before this program there was limited knowledge regarding how this species and its predators survived austral winter.  Studies include the distribution/abundance, physiology, and ecology of Antarctic krill and other predators and competitors.

Field programs were mounted by Australia, Germany, United States, UK and Korea.  The Australian program was centered near 70°E.  A second follow-on program will occur in 2006-2007.

The German Program had a cruise to the west of the Antarctic Peninsula which overlapped with part of the U. S. study area.     There will be a second phase with cruises in the Lazarev Sea (April-May 2004, August-September 2005, January -February 2006).  The intent of these cruises is to obtain a seasonal distribution of processes relating to Antarctic krill.  The April/May cruise focused on how krill set themselves up to go into the winter. The majority of the work was in biochemistry and molecular in nature and looked at the physiology of the krill.  The predators were also studied as well as environmental variability studies.

The U.S. program is focused west of the Antarctic Peninsula and included eleven cruises. 

The British program is focused primarily on the Scotia Sea around South Georgia, but a small program was undertaken along the west Antarctic Peninsula.  This program is ongoing with a big effort planned for 2006 that will address more Southern Ocean GLOBEC related questions. The Korean program is ongoing in the Bransfield Strait area.

In spite of these programs there was a large portion of the Antarctic that did not get covered by Southern Ocean GLOBEC.  A follow-on program is trying to remedy this situation and is trying to look at some of the other areas in the Southern Ocean.

As part of the U.S. SO GLOBEC program there were three mooring deployment/recovery cruises (2001, 2002, and 2003) to the west Antarctic Peninsula.  These cruises were successful in terms of the data that was collected.  The current meter moorings were in the water for two years and are the first set of long term moorings that have ever been deployed and retrieved in Antarctic coastal waters.

One product from the U.S. SO GLOBEC cruises is a revised bathymetry of the west Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf which is now available in a technical report and on a website.  The British also ran several surveys in this area that had a focus on bottom mapping.  Their data were obtained and included in the revised bathymetry.  This is one of the first attempts of getting a high-resolution bathymetry in this area which makes a huge difference in terms of circulation models.  Marguerite Trough in particular is an important bathymetric feature in the area surveyed.  The Antarctic Circumpolar Current flows along the shelf edge from south to north in this area. 

Eileen went on to give a few science highlights from the program. She pointed out the distributions of isotherms at the temperature maximum below 200 meters. One result of this research was discovering the importance of Circumpolar Deep Water.  This water intrudes onto the continental shelf of the west Antarctic Peninsula below 200 meters.  The water is warm (1.5-2°C), salty and nutrient-rich and is a primary control on physical and biological processes in region.   This water mass comes onto the shelf all year long, not just seasonally.  Once this water comes onto the shelf it mixes or upwells into the upper water column and keeps the surface water from freezing.  This provides areas of open waters in the winter, which are important to penguins and seals that overwinter in this area.

Top predator species work involves surface feeders such as southern fulmar, blue petrel, cape petrel and snow petrel, and sub-surface feeders such as crabeater seals and Adélie penguins.  Numerous observations were taken on these cruises regarding the distribution and abundance of these animals.  In April-May 2001, 155 transects were performed followed by 131 transects in July-August 2001.  A summary of the observations shows that some species are more dominant in April-May and totally drop out in July-August like the kelp gull, cape petrel, blue petrel and the southern fulmar.  While others, the snow petrel, Adélie penguin and the Emperor penguin are more dominant in July-August. 

These distributions of sea birds were then overlaid on to the water mass distributions.  The hydrographic characteristics of the water in this area enabled the water mass to be split into the different types of water such as Antarctic Circumpolar Current, Upper Circumpolar Deep Water, Modified Upper Circumpolar Deep Water, and Inner Shelf Water, Inner Shelf Water Front and Upper Circumpolar Deep Water Front.  A series of regression models were then used to find correspondences between environment structure and structures of the predator communities in this area.  It was determined that water mass distribution is important in structuring the distribution of the top predators.

Some crabeater seals had satellite transmitters attached to their heads to track their movements.  Some of the transmitters included a temperature-salinity transmitter, thereby enabling the seals to collect environmental data while in the water.  The data was then used to determine the seasonal change in upper water column structure.  This provides the first regional description of the fall to winter transition of Antarctic coastal waters.  It was noted that the temperature signal is accurate while the salinity signal is less accurate. 

At the 2004 Ocean Sciences Meeting there were several GLOBEC Sessions.  There were joint sessions with Georges Bank, NEP, and SO GLOBEC.  About 155 abstracts were submitted and organized into 8 oral sessions and 3 poster sessions.  The abstracts represented contributions from other programs and individual scientists as well as contributions from GLOBEC programs (U.S. and International.)  This meeting was an attempt to begin cross synthesis within the US Programs. 

In July of 2004 the Science Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR) will be hosting an Open Science Meeting in Bremen, Germany.  The session on Southern Ocean Marine Ecosystems will be co-convened by Hofmann and Nicol.  About 20 oral presentations and 14 poster presentations many of which are from the International SO GLOBEC community were submitted for this session.  

Publication of the first SO GLOBEC Deep-Sea Research Special Volume is set for late 2004.   Twenty-two manuscripts have been submitted to co-editors Hofmann, Wiebe, Costa and Torres.  Contributions for this volume came from both US GLOBEC and international GLOBEC programs.

A draft of an announcement of opportunity for SO GLOBEC synthesis and modeling activities in the U.S. has been sent to NSF Polar Programs.  The AO will come out in the fall of 2004.  Request for proposals will be in early 2005 with funding starting in late 2005.  This will start the synthesis and modeling phase for SO GLOBEC in the US Community.  The question was raised as to whether or not the draft AO included in the briefing book is broad enough.  The SSC committee was urged to review the AO and make suggestions.    

Planning has started for a follow-on program to SO GLOBEC.  The first meeting for planning was held at the International GLOBEC Open Science Meeting in October 2002.  It was also discussed with the International GLOBEC SSC at the IGBP Congress in June 2003.  A small organizing group met in July 2003 in London and there will be another meeting at SCAR OSM in July 2004 to push the follow-on program forward.

This follow-on program is called ICCED – Integrated Analysis of Circumpolar Climate Interactions and Ecosystem Dynamics in the Southern Ocean.  The focus of the program is a circumpolar, interdisciplinary approach to understand climate interactions in the SO and implications for ecosystem function and feedbacks to biogeochemical cycles.  Implementation of circumpolar instrumentation and field studies will occur.  The aim is to extend and further develop the circulation, ecosystem, and biogeochemical models. ICCED is being put forward as a component of the joint initiative between the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program and the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research entitled IMBER.  The focus will be on whole ecosystem including cetaceans.  This would be an opportunity to obtain circumpolar information on cetacean distribution and abundance.  It is hoped that the IWC will participate as a full partner.

Georges Bank

Pete Wiebe presented an update of the phase IV Synthesis Activities for Georges Bank.  There are five funded projects for the U.S. GLOBEC Northwest Atlantic Georges Bank Program.  They are: 1) The Physical Oceanography of Georges Bank and Its Impact on Biology; 2) Zooplankton Population Dynamics on Georges Bank: Model and Data Synthesis; 3) Patterns of Energy Flow and Utilization on Georges Bank; 4) Tidal Front Mixing and Exchange on Georges Bank: Controls on the Production of Phytoplankton, Zooplankton and Larval fishes; 5) Integration and Synthesis of Georges Bank Broad-Scale Survey Results. 

The Georges Bank Program started with several pre-cruises in 1992 and 1993.  Major cruises didn’t start until 1995 due to a cut in NOAA funding.   There was broad-scale and mooring work being performed every year from 1995 until 1999.  Process work was done in 1995, 1997 and 1999.  There were approximately 125 cruises over a six-year period.  Synthesis started in 2002. 

In November of 2003, there was a science meeting at which five individual projects were discussed by the project leaders.  Individual investigators also gave reports.  There were 39 presentations, six of which were posters.  There were also plenary sessions at which the following were discussed: 

         standardized grids of  broad-scale data sets

         joint modeling work

         synthesis of the data

         synthesis beyond Georges Bank

         flow into GoM via NE channel

         fluxes of water and bugs through the north flank tidal mixing front

         over-wintering stocks of Calanus in the GoM

         object lessons from the JGOFS synthesis effort

         joint publications- Synthesis Volume(s) Phase IV SI Meeting in late Spring or early Summer 2004

         future regional observing

Further discussions of these topics are on the website at


The Journal of Geophysical Research had a special section entitled U.S. GLOBEC: Physical Processes on Georges Bank which contained seventeen publications.  There were 20 papers and/or posters presented at the 2004 AGU Ocean Science Meeting which were presented by Georges Bank Program Investigators.

 Peter highlighted the progress on the Georges Bank program.

  1. The Long-term Moored Array Data Report is now 98% complete, and should be published as a WHOI Tech Report in both hard copy and in an online version by the June GLOBEC workshop.  The entire data set has been reprocessed and edited and will be put online in three formats: raw, 1-hr averaged, and combined in matlab mat-files. 
  1. The first FVCOM users' workshop will be held June 15-18 at U. Mass -   Dartmouth, with Changsheng Chen and Bob Beardsley as organizers.  The finite-volume coastal circulation model FVCOM has been significantly improved over the last year and a user's manual is now almost complete.  This workshop will discuss in detail the theory and numerics of FVCOM and provide participants with hands-on experience in setting up and running  FVCOM.
  1. The continued development of FVCOM and its use in GLOBEC is really proving the scientific benefits of the finite-volume approach.  This is especially clear in the recent FVCOM simulations of the dye dispersion experiment conducted by Bob Houghton on the southern flank in 1999.  The simulation agrees well with observation provided the horizontal grid spacing is 500 meters. 
  1. A regional mesoscale meteorological model (GoM MM5) has been developed and tested this last year and a manuscript describing this has been accepted in J. Atmos. Ocean. Tech.  This model with assimilation of NOAA CMAN and buoy data provides an accurate surface wind and wind stress fields over the Gulf of Maine and New England shelf, and has been used to generate the surface forcing fields for the 1995 and 1999 GLOBEC field years.  These fields are being used to drive FVCOM simulations for both years, which are now being used by investigators to study both physical and biological processes.  Like most NWP models, the GoM MM5 does a poor job predicting the surface shortwave radiation, which is needed for both the surface heat flux and photosynthesis.  We are now exploring the use of satellite-derived short and long-wave radiation fields to use in both model forcing and data analysis efforts.

The next area of research Peter spoke about was Hindcasting in May 1999 which was an experiment using data assimilation on the Southern Flank of Georges Bank.  There were both dye experiments and field measurements made of the structure of the zooplankton population on the frontal regional on top of Georges Banks between the crest and the southern flank.  The Quoddy model was used to look at the dynamics of the tidal front.   This was done by looking at forcing by wind, tides, far-field and heat flux effects to look at the flow field in and around the frontal region. Work preformed included data assimilation improvements, assessments of research performance, skill with drifter-track simulations, and determination of the position and structure of frontal circulation (e.g., along- and cross-front flow.)

Charts were shown on tracking the near-bottom dye patch and 2-D drifter simulations of pre-storm, during-storm and after-storm.  Pre-storm the water flow was through the front and off toward the outside of the bank.  During the storm things changed with the water being down welled in the frontal region and coming back onto the bank.  After the storm the flow changed again.  There was now convergence zone and flow back toward the bank and also off shore.

It was concluded that combined model and data assimilation strategies provide the most accurate estimate of the state of the system. Use of complementary inversion methods allows for adjustments in both tidal (Truxton) and weather band (Casco) forcings.  Realistic description of the position, evolution and secondary circulation associated with the tidal front was achieved.  Passive drifter simulations quantify the effectiveness of the tidal front as an aggregation mechanism.

The next topic was the Environmental Consequences of Tidal-Front Entrainment in Larval Fish along the Southern Flank of Georges Bank.  The flow field from the physics model was used to develop a spatially representative prey field (from observations, spatially interpolated and advected with the model flow field for a couple of days). Then a bio-dynamic IBM parameterized by earlier observations was used to estimate cod larval growth before and after the storm.  The results are in the right ball park and have a spatial pattern similar to observations. 

There were a series of mocness tows taken during this experiment in the well mixed region and the stratified region.  Concentration of pseudocalanus, Nauplii and copepodites were used to start the model off.  The model evolved until there was a reasonable distribution of the nauplii and copepodites to represent what was happening in the flow field.  This procedure was then repeated after the storm to look at the evolution.  Nauplii populations went down radically while the copepodites increased and changed their distribution. 

Peter also spoke briefly about the Larval Cod Trophodynamic Model that was used with the prey biomass distribution that was encountered in the model to try to predict the growth and development of the larval cod.  The model was run in the prey field before a storm on the crest side of the frontal region.  It was then run again after the storm in an area near the surface which showed less growth. 

The next study Peter spoke about involved early haddock and cod larval mortality on Georges Bank in 1998.  During 1998 there was a low mortality rate due to low wind stress during critical time.  Line graphs showed the data that was collected for a 10-day period for estimated number of eggs hatched and the bank-wide estimated number of larvae. For both species the larvae from the 55 – 85 day cohorts (hatched between days 50 – 90) make up the bulk of the surviving population.  For cod this period corresponds pretty well to the peak egg hatching, but for haddock it was not the peak of the egg hatching.  

The results show that in 1998 the 50-90 day period had unusually low mortality for both cod and haddock.  The good haddock year class in 1998 was due in part to the physics (lower wind-driven loss of eggs and larvae from the bank) and in part to trophic interactions (better food leading to better growth and better condition, leading to higher survivorship in the early larval stage). The year 2003 was also a good year for haddock and cod survival.

The next project he highlighted was the Population dynamics of Pseudocalanus newmani and P. moultoni on Georges Bank. In 1999 broad-scale mapping was done for Pseudocalanus moultoni and Pseudocalanus newmani two species that live on Georges Bank.  The development of the population was very good from January to June.  Early spring distributions were apparently distinct with a greater population of newmani while the summer populations were about equal between the two species.  Therefore, they are co-equal in abundance. 

Total monthly abundances for each species for each region showed differences in month-to-month patterns of abundance for all regions except the Northeast Peak.  Moultoni is more abundant on the Gulf on the Maine side than Newmani.  Newmani tends to be more abundant on the flank of the bank.  Previous work has shown that Moultoni is more locally orientated and is more dominant in the shallow water regions of Georges Bank and is more present in the Gulf of Maine.  Newmani while still a shelf species is more of an offshore species.

On the crest of the bank in May distribution is equal as well as in the Northeast peak.  The slope water has a larger population of newmani as does the Southern Flank.  There are some vertical differences in the Pseudocalanus abundances for two strata (0-15m and 15–40m) which were mapped to the standard grid and totaled for each Broad-scale region. Species’ vertical distributions differed for most regions, with more P. moultoni in the lower stratum on the Bank crest and Northeast peak, and more P. newmani in the top stratum on the Southern flank. Additional small-scale studies are needed to determine relationships between water column structure and copepod vertical distributions.

A different approach to synthesis is the study on Patterns of Energy Flow and Utilization on Georges Bank.  The objective of this study is to provide a broad ecosystem context for interpretation of the population dynamics of the Georges Bank target species with explicit consideration of the microbial food web, new and recycled primary production, spatial heterogeneity of production on the bank, changes in biomass and production at higher trophic levels in response to exploitation, and the effects of environmental forcing on production processes.   A summary of the work during four time stanzas (1963-72, 1973-84, 1985-94, 1995-2002) for trophic levels Benthivores, Piscivores and Planktivores showed that there were changes in the structure in this ecosystem.  The Benthivores dominated in the earlier years while the Planktivores are more dominate today.  Modeling will help in determining why these transitions took place.  They are also looking into what primary production is required to sustain this level of fish production in these models.  It has been determined that more than a ten percent trophic efficiency is required to get to the production levels.

The next steps for this project are to: finalize production estimates at all trophic levels including estimates of new primary production; determine most appropriate objective function for network analysis; refine estimates of new primary production required to sustain upper trophic level production; join upper and lower trophic level food webs in integrated analysis; construct network models for decadal time stanzas; and develop dynamic models for selected portions of food web with explicit consideration of environmental forcing.

The next steps for the Georges Bank PI’s are:

         DSR-II Volume 3 started with call for papers.

          ICES/GLOBEC Symposium on the influence of climate

            change on North Atlantic fish stocks (11-14 May 2004 Bergen)

          PI Meeting-Salva Regina, Newport, RI - 21-25 June, 2004

          AO Phase 4 (~ August 2004 proposals due ~October ?)

          ICES- Vigo, Spain September 2004

          EU/NA Atlantic Basin-scale Workshop (Iceland – March 2005).

Peter went on to address the following changes that were made to the Draft AO for the Final Synthesis of the U.S. GLOBEC Northwest Atlantic/Georges Bank Program.

1) Changes have been made to the bottom of section A where there has been the addition of text articulating the need in the final synthesis to produce a book “..that presents an updated description of the area that focuses on the regional and basin scale processes that support the development and variability of the target species.”  This was strongly suggested by Zack Powell.

2) We have changed the title to section 1 from “Physical/biological modeling” to “Physical/biological coupling” and have split that section into two parts. The first deals with the local Georges Bank/Gulf of Maine synthesis and emphasizes the need for further work. The second deals with the basin-scale aspects of the synthesis, which was not funded in the first synthesis round of proposals. It embodies or addresses the issue of linkage of models from the local to basin-scale that Zack found missing in the Georges Bank Program.  Although modeling is at the heart of both of these subsections, it is not exclusively so and hence the renaming of the section as a whole.  This section also implies links to future international endeavors as recommended by Zack

3) A new section 2 has been added that opens the door for synthesis studies between GLOBEC programs.

4) Section 3 has been modified to address the need to transition the synthesis results to the ecosystem-based management process as suggested by Zack.

There was also discussion on how to start synthesis on an international level with the sharing of data, and the need for international collaborators as well as for total integration of a whole science system.

Northeast Pacific Program

The progress of the Northeast Pacific Program was addressed by Ted Strub.  At present, the Northeast Pacific is at a transition between an intense field program and synthesis. 

The Northeast Pacific Program started in September of 1991 as the California Current Study at a meeting in Bodega Bay.  At first there was a strong connection with the CoOP Wind-Driven Transport Program, but in 1995 CoOp started the Great Lakes Program.  In 1996 The GLOBEC SSC met in Washington DC, and united the California Current System and the Gulf of Alaska thus forming the Northeast Pacific Program. During that year there were 13 funded proposals for GLOBEC.  In July of 1997 the Long-Term Observing Program (LTOP) sampling began off Oregon.    Since 1997 there has been the LTOP, retrospective studies, modeling and intensive field process studies, and mesoscale studies.   

In January, 2004 a special GLOBEC Session was held at the Ocean Sciences Meeting as well as the second NEP (CCS and CGOA) SI Meeting. Proposals for synthesis in CCS were due on April 15, 2004.  CGOA will announce an opportunity for a synthesis AO.

Ted went on to show the region off of Oregon where there are long term surveys. This region extends from Newport to Crescent City.  The Newport line has a long history of sampling.  Local and large-scale climate indices from 1961-2001 depicting El Nino type events were shown. The Oregon productivity index for coho declined in the late 80’s and in the 90’s, but recovery was shown in early 2000.  Historical data was also shown for coho from 1961 to 1972 showing a survival rate of 3%-9%.  In the last several years we moved back to the cold temperatures in the halocline that are similar to those in the 1960’s when the coho production was high.

Ted went on to explain the types of data sets that they have to work with for the synthesis phase.  There are shelf moorings throughout the area.  It was noted that persistence summer upwelling period is more noticeable at sea level than in the winds.  EOF analysis for two regions shows the chlorophyll levels during the intrusion of water for both systems were high all around the Gulf of Alaska and down the coast.

He also spoke about the types of data sets that are available:  COADS LAS-WOD and other data sets served by LAS.  This data can be rearranged for easy creation of regional time series (GLOBEC value-added).  In the future, LAS will include satellite data, model outputs, NEP observations, fishery data.  Large-scale data sets for Northeast Pacific, subsurface temperature trends in GOA, and regime shifts data sets will also be available.

Data forecasting for springtime euphausiid abundances from atmospheric circulation during the preceding winter showed that climatic distribution area for zooplankton and the time series for that zooplankton. The purpose was to see if you can predict from the previous season of a given year what the abundance of zooplankton will be during that year.

Northern Copepods are cold loving species which can be used as indicators of the ocean climate.  An attempt was made to relate the Oregon productivity index of coho to the index of whether or not warm or cold water copepods were present.  In the years that had colder water temperatures there was a higher survival rate of salmon.

Mesoscale field data was the next information to be discussed.  In 2000 there was a late start for upwelling and in 2002 there was an early start for upwelling.  This is a typical pattern that is envisioned as part of the seasonal cycle where you start with an upwelling jet close to the coast fairly well behaved with southward currents which over the next several months migrate off shore and turns into a very convoluted field of mesoscale eddies and meanders. 

HF mapping array shelf conventional-range systems were developed for NOPP (2 sites).  It was expanded for CoOP and now has 5 sites.  It is able to map radial currents toward/away from each site in the range of O (45 km) with a resolution of 2 km range, 5 degs angle.  It can combine measurements from different sites to get full vector currents.  It records data with hourly maps and is near-real-time.  Ted showed slides depicting the short range radar.  He also showed slides with longer range radar.  He then compared four short range radar installations verses three longer range radar installations.

Land-Based Surface Current Mapping using HF Radiowave Backscatter Long Range (180 km) was also showed.  This is always done on surface currents and is mapped every 6 km.  Data is then brought from coast every 2 hours.  Maps are presented on the web in near real-time.  There are 3 coastal measurement sites.  It was noted that a fourth long-range site was added last month at Newport, extending long-range coverage to the north.  The goal is to combine altimeter and radar data.

Ted went on to say that eddies come from winds to the north that build up.  This process happens every year.  These eddies are drawing chlorophyll off the shelf and are leaving during the month of  August a structure that has high chlorophyll in the middle of an anticyclonic feature. The water is warm and salty.  This is a clear case of shelf/deep ocean interaction with an effect on the biology. 

Summer data collection shows that salmon have a high rate of variability with temperature and salinity between years in the Columbia River Plume.  There are several different groups running data studies in this area.  Combination of this data is needed to address salmon problems.  These data sets are available for synthesis.

The next area of study discussed was data assimilative models. Modelers are working on assimilating the radar data and the mooring data that is part of the Co-Op program.  Ted’s example showed where the model assimilates the data from one mooring and then compares the model and the data to downstream moorings.  Assimilation of ADP velocity profiles helps to improve model velocities at an alongshore distance of 90 km from the assimilation site.  Improvement in model-data RMS error and complex correlation amplitude at remote ADP sites as a result of assimilation of moored ADP velocities in the north will be addressed. Assimilation of HF radar sea surface currents into a coastal ocean circulation model helps to improve velocity at depth.  A time series of the depth-averaged current at a mid-shelf location off Oregon in summer 1998 was showed.  Assimilation of moored profiler currents improves near-surface transport of buoyant water from Columbia River shows salinity at 5 m below sea surface.

The Gulf of Alaska is still in the process of obtaining data, but has begun to think about ways in which to synthesize their data.

In conclusion Ted spoke about one outreach effort which is an after school program for high school students focusing on remote sensing and oceanography.

Movie Loop of Temperature Anomalies

Dale showed a movie loop of temperature anomalies from the North Pacific model that is being run as an outer nest into which fine regions are nested for purposes of the NEP program.  The model reproduces the major large scale variability that has occurred over the period of interest and include the regime shift, El Nino, and the cold anomaly.  Versions of all three of these appeared very nicely in this run.  Scientists are pleased to see that the basin-scale context, within which they are looking for fine scale modeling results in support of NEP, does contains large-scale responses that have occurred.

Agency Reports

The NOAA Report was presented by Elizabeth Turner.  She stated that the budget was passed, but that COP was eliminated from the budget. Even so, this year approval was given to fund ongoing COP projects.  The funding that was appropriated to other places within NOS has been applied to these continuing programs.  New announcements for this year are in limbo as well as next year.  The fiscal year 2005 President’s Budget Request has COP back in as a line item.  The House and the Senate have yet to act on this.  At this point there is no telling what the outcome might be.

In the next several months the committees will be evaluating the President’s budget request.  One issue to note is that the budget request has COP in it for $10.4 million which is less than what was requested in the past and is actually half of the amount received in the past.  In addition there is a $15 million cut throughout the rest of the end cost which is usually a sign that they are going to look to the budget to make up shortfalls.

The NSF Report was presented by Phil Taylor.  At present there is no set budget, but it should be the same as last year.  NSF is leading the proposal review process for the California current.  Synthesis proposals are in.  NSF has received 14 proposed projects.  Funding decisions will be made in the late summer.  The panel will review proposals on science merit.  Funding for 2004 should be committed by August.

Marie Bundy from NSF went on to speak about the AO for Southern GLOBEC.  The announcement will go out in September with a proposal due date of February.  Four million dollars will be allocated for standard 3-year grants.  Investigators will be encouraged to bring in other data sets.  NSF is presently looking at ways to address the question on how to make data sets that were obtained with NSF funding available to all scientists.  

Intercessional Activities

ORION Meeting – OOI Report

            Kendra Daly spoke about the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) in the Ocean Research Interactive Observatory Networks (ORION) Program.  The NSF’s OOI is part of their Major Research Infrastructure and Facilities Construction Account (MRE-FC).  The Orion Program will oversee the operations and maintenance, science funding, instrumentation, mobile platforms and educational activities.  The OOI is the infrastructure for the NSF Observatories.  The MRE is a line item in the NSF budget.  This is an agency-wide capitol asset account that is intended to fund major science and engineering infrastructure that cannot be funded through normal programs.  The funding for MRE-FC has increased to $246 million over five years.

In January there was an ORION Workshop in Puerto Rico. Two hundred and eighty scientists, educators and engineer technologists attended from eighty institutions and seven countries.  The goal of the workshop was to set the science priorities and educational opportunities for each component of the OOI and for the ORION program as a whole, making use of all three components.  Currently the website for the ORION program is http://www.coreocean.org/orion.  The website posts previous reports and background papers on science, scientific programs, technology, ship requirements, data management, cyber infrastructure issues, and evolving science questions.  A map of national and international observatories will be added.

The first of the three components that Kendra spoke about was the Coastal Observatory System.   A workshop was held in November in Chicago, Illinois, to provide a framework for developing detailed implementation plans for the coastal component of the Ocean Observatories Initiative in preparation for the ORION Workshop.  In particular, they were looking to provide the overall vision of fixed and relocatable array elements to serve as the foundation for specific science planning. A final report is available at www.skio.peachnet.edu/coop.

It was determined that the Coastal Observing System be comprised of two components: Endurance Arrays and Pioneer Arrays.  The Endurance Array would be permanent cross-shelf lines and individual observing sites (cabled and uncabled) distributed regionally to encompass the range of coastal geometries and process interactions necessary to advance our understanding of coastal systems.  The Pioneer Arrays would be relocatable, scalable arrays of sensor moorings capable of real-time data telemetry to examine specific processes and features deemed critical to interpreting time-series measurements and understanding coastal processes.  Potential endurance array locations are discussed in the report as well as a framework implementation schedule. 

The next component Kendra spoke about was the Regional Cabled Observatory which will be the largest component.  There was a workshop in San Francisco to set the site of this observatory. It was agreed that the NEPTUNE Program would be the first cabled regional observatory.  The observatory will provide sustained power and 2-way communication to support instrumentation for time-series measurements and real-time adaptive sampling. At the workshop there was some discussion about how the cable system might look.  There were a number of working groups that included the defense community, geophysicists, climate and ecosystem dynamics groups.  Based on the science questions each group determined where they thought best to have the nodes located in the cable.  The spots for each group were overlaid.  There were a lot of commonalities.  The Newport Line was recognized as being a long-term hydrographic line and it was determined that it is extremely important to maintain this data set.  

The NEPTUNE Program Timeline was then reviewed.

         1998 Proposal funded by NOPP for NEPTUNE Feasibility Study (Delaney-PI)

         2000 Funding from NSF to WHOI for Communications Portion of NEPTUNE

         June -Feasibility Study Published

         September – Initial Meeting of NEPTUNE Consortium

         2001 Funding for Power component of the NEPTUNE system to UW and JPL

         W.M. Keck Foundation funds UW for Proto-NEPTUNE scientific studies (Delaney-PI)

         2002 NOPP funds the NEPTUNE office, project management, system eng. (Delaney-PI)

         VENUS funded by Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)

         MARS funded by NSF

         2003 Canadian Partners (Univ. of Victoria) funded by CFI

         2004 First installation of VENUS – Patricia Bay near Sidney BC

         2005 Installation of Legs 2 & 3 of VENUS (Strait of Georgia, Strait of Juan de Fuca)  Installation of MARS – in Monterey Canyon

         2006 Expected arrival of first year funding of OOI from MREFC account (FY 06)

         2007 Deployment of cable in NEPTUNE Canada Northern Loop – Phase I

         2008 Completion of installation of NEPTUNE Canada Phase I – instruments

         2008 –2009 Installation of Phase II of NEPTUNE – US support

         2009 – 2010 Completion of Phase II of NEPTUNE- instruments

         2011 – 2040 Operation of NEPTUNE

The MBARI test bed cable will go in next year.  There will be an MBARI workshop later this summer to make decisions on instrument standards and science system interface modules to ensure metadata is incorporated in a correct way.  A proposal was submitted to ITR to develop cyberinfrastructure for interactive observatories. There has been interest by Cray, Microsoft, IBM and Intel for modeling, simulations, interface of robotics, 4-D data management of distributed data, dealing with heterogeneous data, and building smart sensors.  It was noted that the cable observatory will only be of interest to the water column community if there is some way that allows for measurement up into the water column.

The third component Kendra spoke about was the Global Observatories. This is viewed as assets that will be re-locatable.  Long-term moored-buoys will be installed at specific locations to complete a global array of observatories (Global Ocean Seismic Network.)   Re-locatable global moorings that can also be deployed in harsh environments such as the Southern Ocean will also be installed.

The ORION Program Office was competed for and was awarded to the ‘1201’ Group.   A Board of Managers consists of 3 members of JOI and 3 members of CORE Boards. Mark Abbott is the Chair and the Project Director is Ken Brink who will provide a 50% effort.  The Director of Ocean Observations will be a full time person.  A cyber infrastructure person and a Systems Engineer will be hired.  CORE will provide the education outreach and JOI will provide office support.  The Executive Steering Committee consists of Chair Bob Spindel (APL, UW); Jack Barth, OSU; Kendra Daly, USF; John Delaney, UW; Dan Frye, WHOI; Greg Jacobs, NRL; Rick Jahnke, SIO; Kim Juniper, Quebec, (Neptune-Canada); George Luther (Delaware); Gene Massion (MBARI); Peter Mikhalevsky (SAI); John Orcutt (Scripps); Oscar Schofield (Rutgers); Bob Weller (WHOI) and Blanche Meeson (Ocean.US office).a 

Orion Program office duties include: 

         Establish advisory structure

        Interaction with Ocean. US Office

         Develop a Science Plan (based on all workshop reports)

         Project Execution Plan (living document management plan)

        Governance & organization, fiscal management, risk management

         Website for OCE Observing activities

         Synthesis of workshop results and recommendations to date by mid-summer for community comment

         Call for community experiments ‘planning letters’ to help define locations of Neptune nodes and endurance, pioneer, and deep-sea mooring locations

            Needed as input for Systems Engineer planning

The majority of Orion’s work will be proposal driven.  GLOBEC scientists are very well poised to get involved in this level of the process. 

Iceland Workshop Proposal Update

Peter Wiebe gave an update on the Iceland Workshop Proposal.   There is a list of 40-45 people from the North Atlantic and GLOBEC as a whole that are on the potential invitation list for the workshop.  Workshop attendance will be by invitation only.

Modeling Workshop

Planning for a Young Investigators Workshop is underway.  Dale will take the initiative for this during summer while working at NCAR.  Work will be done on the preparation of a proposal for the workshop which will then be submitted to the agencies.  Funding will hopefully be in place to allow for a summer 2005 Workshop.

International Activities

             Cisco Werner (Chairman of the GLOBEC-INT SSC) spoke about the highlights of the international activities (http://www.globec.org).   The countries participating in GLOBEC activities at national, multinational or regional levels are: USA, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Japan, Korea, China, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, France, UK, Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway.

GLOBEC International is a ten-year program of IGP.  The program is at the half-way point and will end in December 2009.  The second phase of the program is gearing up for synthesis.  The International Project office in Plymouth, UK is working on obtaining funding for the second half of the program, which based on recent communications with the UK’s NERC appears to have been successfully secured.

Some of the international GLOBEC activities include:

  1. A request to NERC (UK) for IPO support through 2009.  The answer will be received by the end of May 2004 [updated information (Sept. 2004): the funding request was successful]. 
  2. A “highlights” presentation of all international GLOBEC programs is being put together. 
  3. Two new programs, Ecosystems Studies of the Sub-Artic Seas (ESSAS) and Climate Impacts on Oceanic Top Predators (CLIOTOP) are being reviewed. 
  4. Plans for developing Synthesis, Integration & Legacy of the program are being formulated. 
  5. Work being done with IMBER on SP/IS and joint efforts (e.g., modeling, end-to-end food webs). 
  6. Plans for the development of an IGBP’s Ocean Integration Panel with GLOBEC, IMBER, SOLAS, LOICZ, AIMES (non-IGBP CLIVAR, IHDP included.)

Existing GLOBEC Regional programs include PICES-GLOBEC, ICES-GLOBEC, and Small Pelagics and Climate Change. Proposed regional programs are ESSAS and CLIOTOP.

The goal of ESSAS is to compare, quantify and predict the impact of climate variability on the productivity and sustainability of sub-arctic marine ecosystems.  This area has high biological productivity and is among the largest commercial fisheries in the N. Hemisphere.  It is also home to large numbers of mammals and seabirds and is strongly affected by global climate change. 

The objective of CLIOTOP is to organize a large-scale comparative effort to identify and elucidate the key processes involved in ecosystem functioning and, in particular, to determine the impact of climate variability on the structure and function of open ocean pelagic ecosystems and their top predators, e.g., tuna, billfish, etc., in lower latitudes (Tropical and Equatorial regions).

Cisco then went on to give a summary of the GLOBEC Integration & Synthesis from a meeting of the SSC that was held two weeks prior in Namibia.  He started off with the goal of the International GLOBEC which is to advance our understanding of the structure and functioning of the global ocean ecosystem, its major subsystems, and its response to physical forcing so that a capability can be developed to forecast the responses of the marine ecosystem to global change. He then reviewed a series of four questions that were proposed at that meeting.  The results of the following questions will be implemented over the next five years of integration and synthesis. 1) What will be (or should be?) GLOBEC’s contribution and legacy? 2) How should this knowledge be synthesized? 3) What is the role of the following (or their combination) in achieving synthesis? 4) What would be the output?  After much discussion the following points were addressed and identified as part of GLOBEC’s legacy and as defining the initial blueprint for synthesis questions: 

A. Philosophy in GLOBEC’s approach

         Multi/ interdisciplinary international collaboration

         Coupled models as integrative tools

         Multi-scale (time, space, institutional) analysis

         Enhanced understanding of the role of high trophic levels and top-down controls (hierarchical)

B. Body of Knowledge developed under GLOBEC

      1. Ecosystem Structure and Function

         Regional comparisons (High/Low latitudes, coastal/open)

         Demonstrate the role of Climate variability in effecting marine ecosystem changes

         Identify the relative role of ecosystem components (plankton, fish, humans) in ecosystem functioning

      1. Forcings

         Determine the space/time modes of variability in natural climate processes

         Highlight the mechanisms behind ecosystem couplings and synchronicity

         Recognise the role of Humans as forces of change

      1. Physical/ Biological/ Human interactions and Feedbacks

C. Innovative methodologies

      1. Sampling and technological advances in support of GLOBEC science
      2. Coupled models (trophic, scale, time) to investigate structure, function and variability
      3. Retrospective studies (particularly multidecadal to centennial) on past ecosystem states
      4. Comparative approach (mostly regional)

D. Management information transfer

      1. Policy (providing conceptual understanding of ecosystem function)
      2. Managers (providing tools to incorporate climate-driven variability)
      3. Communities (enhancing communication on Global Environmental Change – GEC – and marine sustainability)

E. Education/ Outreach

      1. Curriculum development
      2. Web-based approaches
      3. Animations (scenarios)
      4. Lessons learned

Cisco also gave a list of the following symposia that will be taking place:

         ICES/GLOBEC - The influence of Climate change on North Atlantic fish stocks, Bergen, Norway. May 2004

         ESSAS Climate variability and sub-arctic marine ecosystems. Victoria, Canada, May 2005

         PICES/GLOBEC - Climate Change and Ecosystem impacts in the North Pacific, Honolulu, USA, April 2006

         Natural and Human system implications of large-scale changes in marine systems symposia in 2007 (FOCUS IV Working Group to lead)

         PICES/ICES/GLOBEC - 4th Zooplankton Production Symposium. Hiroshima, Japan, June 2007.

         SPACC-Synthesis of the Small Pelagic Fish and Climate Change Programme, 2008

         Southern Ocean Synthesis Conference, 2008 or 2009

         Final GLOBEC Open Science Meeting, 2010

IGPP Visualization Center

The SSC members attended a visualization at the IGPP Center and also saw an OBIS demonstration.

U. S. GLOBEC Scientific Steering Committee Meeting


Martin Johnson House

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

La Jolla, California

6-7 May 2004

Friday, May 7, 2004

Members in attendance were Dale Haidvogel (Rutgers), David Ainley (H.T. Harvey), Michael Alexander (NOAA-CIRES), Nick Bond (NOAA), Ric Brodeur (NOAA/NMSF/NWFSC), Jennifer Burns (UA Anchorage), Kendra Daley (USF), Jonathan Hare (NOAA), Yochanan Kushnir (Lamont), Dennis McGillicuddy (WHOI), Arthur Miller (Scripps), David Mountain (NMSF/NOAA), Steven Murawski (NMSF/NOAA), Mark Ohman (Scripps), Susanne Strom (WWU), Eileen Hofmann (ODU), Thomas (Zack) Powell (UC Berkeley), Teb Strub (OSU), Francisco Werner (UNC), and Peter Wiebe (WHOI). 

Guests in attendance included Marie Bundy (NSF), Madeline Gazzale (Rutgers), Linda Lagle (WHOI), Phil Taylor (NSF), Robin Smythe (NSF), Beth Turner (NOAA).

Dale Haidvogel, Chairperson of the SSC, called the meeting to order at 0830 hours.

A brief overview of the day’s agenda was discussed.  Plans were also discussed to have the next SSC meeting in Boulder Colorado with Michael Alexander being the local contact.  The meeting was tentatively set for November 3, 4 and 5 at either NCAR or the NOAA facilities.


      Zack Powell stated that the legacies of the GLOBEC Program are the models and data sets.  About tens years ago thought was given to what was going to happen when these GLOBEC Programs wind down.  We must think about what we are going to leave in the next five years to our community.  What are the future programs that are going to come out of this program after 15 years? Has this research ended because the program ended? 

Things that should be done:

1.      Future Programs

         This is the time to integrate the activities of Georges Bank, Northeast Pacific and the Southern Ocean. What comes out of any future programs should reflect both the differences and the similarities. 

          International Activities have consumed a good deal of the planning and the focus of this committee and others that preceded and will follow it.  GLOBEC should be looking very carefully both in the Atlantic and the Pacific and in the Southern Ocean.

         No one knows how to get around the funding issue, but funding should not be all consuming.  This should be left to the program people. There are enormous opportunities out there and planning for these should be part of the future program.

         Develop stronger bonds with other groups.

2.      Models

         Scales and nesting have to be looked at in the Northeast Pacific.

         In the Southern Ocean there was talk about linking to larger scales. This must also be done in George’s Bank. 

         A good job was not done in linking the very detailed mechanistic models to complicated biological models.

3.      Books

          GLOBEC should have substantial books in addition to special volumes.  These books are important for the community.  To date the Best Oceanographic book is the 1987 Georges Bank book.  This book should be updated.

4.      Ecosystem Management

         Fifteen years ago NOAA Directors would never have thought about utilizing the models that have come out of this or other related programs.  Today they are asking if these model studies can be used by their scientists or if their scientists are working with GLOBEC or are some of your scientists trying to put in some of the base models for fisheries that they are trying to develop.  There has been an attitude change.  While GLOBEC can’t take full credit, it did in fact play a part in this attitude change.

         There are areas in which there was a failure to look to management.

5.      GLOBEC Data Sets

         Should anticipate how data bases will relate to each other.  How will these data sets be archived?

         Important study involving both field and data base people as to what can be expected from the data that was collected.

         Planning for sustainability of the data base.  One of the major failings of data systems today is that there is a failure to track in a holistic way the data that was collected within a program.

         It is unacceptable both technically and in a program sense to just perpetuate the JGOF’s data system. 

6.      National Conference

         GLOBEC owes it to the community to have a national conference to bring together not only the detailed studies, but to present the bigger picture. 

The most important responsibility of this committee is to carry out the GLOBEC objectives.

There was some legacy discussion.  Concern was expressed that perhaps there is a missing middle program that links the physical results into the operational system. It was noted that there are problems between managers and models.  It was suggested that a PowerPoint presentation describing GLOBEC activities should be developed for outreach.  A total commitment to education has to be made if GLOBEC aims to bridge this gap.    Other suggestions included GLOBEC hosting workshops for young investigators and linking with educational groups like COSEE. 

There was a lengthy discussion and many questions arose on how to package the GLOBEC data.  Thoughts were given to the following:  Would a well done, complete, glossy, colorful atlas serve the purpose?  The data has to be accessible in an electronic form with appropriate metadata.  Records of biological samples would be tracked through a curatorship. Would CD’s or DVD’s be better?  What information would go into these?  What data sets would be used?  Some suggestions included mooring data sets, broad scale survey data, and data sets that give spatial representation of both the physics and biology, and process work. How would we target it?  These are still many unanswered questions that will need to be addressed. 

     Standing committees

     Dale began the afternoon portion of the meeting with a continuation of the morning’s legacy discussion with the added concept of the need for Standing Committee Activities.  Relative to this it was determined that the last available description of the inner workings of the SSC committees was from September of 1993.  At that time there were 11 committees, five of which were standing committees, three were ad hoc and two were committees that connected to other groups like GLOBEC International. These committees were all functional and played an important role in starting the program in 1993. 

More recently, the reality is that not all of these committees are still functioning.  It was pointed out that a lot of these initial activities are still going on, but have been packaged differently.  Specifically, there are now standing committees that are involved with the executive management of the three regional programs, Georges Bank, Southern Ocean and Northeast Pacific.   

Several years ago subgroups of the SSC were put together to write two white papers.  These groups were climate and synthesis, and comparative analysis.  These white papers were meant to be a blue print on how the US GLOBEC program would go forward.  However, the white papers were never finalized. 

Discussions during this meeting have raised the possibility that subgroups of the SSC can combine to carry out activities in additional areas. Dale highlighted the following:  synthesis and comparative analysis, data management, quantitative skill assessment, ecosystem approaches to management, education and out reach, final conference and books.  Setting up the data management subcommittee is a high priority.

The issue of a national conference was discussed.  Should it be in three years with a follow- up meeting or one big conference at the end of the program?  Should it piggy-back another science meeting?  Initial suggestions as to where and when the final conference will take place will be presented and discussed at the November SSC meeting. 

There was also some discussion on what type of book should be published. Some suggested questions that the book may address are: a collaboration of science, how US GLOBEC worked together, what was learned and its applications.  It was also suggested that there be an updated version of the Georges Bank book.  The PIs for Georges Bank are interested in writing another book.  After a lengthy discussion there was no clear consensus on what the book should include or the actual size (cocktail table, backpack) or its target audience. 

After further discussion the following Standing Committees were formed:



SSC members with questions regarding their intercessional assignments should contact Dale. The quantitative skill assessment and the ecosystems approaches to management committees will work together.  Standing committees may bring in experts from these fields to work with their groups.

     Science Seminar

     This meeting’s Science Seminar was given by Art Miller from Scripps Institute of Oceanography.  The title of his talk was “Decadal Variability of the Pacific Ocean: The Climate-Ocean Regime Shift Hypothesis of the Steller Sea Lion Decline.”  In his talk he related the temporal variability in the physical system to ecosystem changes in the context of the sea lion decline.  It is thought that there are two basic populations of the sea lions, an eastern population along the eastern part of the Gulf of Alaska and a western population that extends to Russia along the Aleutian Island Chain.  Along the western side there has been a decline in the population since the mid-1970’s.  The basic issues that need to be understood in the context of climate change in the Gulf are the temporal change, the decline after mid-1970’s and the spatial asymmetry, there was a decline in western Gulf of Alaska, but not in the east.   Besides the climate regime shift hypothesis there are some other “less appealing” theories such as over fishing of favorite forage, disease, pollution, shootings by fishermen, and increased predation. 

Slides were shown highlighting the sea surface temperature anomaly over the Pacific showing the cool regime in the 70’s, switching to the warmer eastern Pacific regime in the 80’s and then recently into another cool eastern Pacific regime and the sea level pressure patterns associated with this.  Most discussions of the physical changes have involved the surface temperature and mixed layer changes and its consequent effect on the oceanic biology.  One of the things that has not been looked at is the dynamic changes associated with the wind stress and the wind stress curl changes in the Gulf of Alaska.

Observed changes in the Ekman pumping were spoken about with its relation to Pre-shift mean conditions from 1960-75 during December to May and the change after the shift from (1977-97)-(1960-75.)  The Gulf of Alaska is a peculiar system because it has an upwelling interior and downwelling along the edges and so this is a strange type of circulation.  The biology tends to be productive along the edges.  This environmental situation coupled with a change later of a reduction in the amount of Ekman pumping in the Northeastern basin and an increase to the southwest makes one wonder what effect this has on the circulation patterns in the basin. 

EOF analysis of Wind Stress Curl over the basin reveals the basic decadal pattern of the Aleutian low variations.  Theoretical solution (steady state) to wind-stress curl forcing yields a weakening of the Alaskan Stream, but this assumes Rossby waves equilibrate the western boundary currents.  Theoretical stream function response shows that Rossby waves are not important in open-ocean interannual/decadal variability.  Models suggest topographic Rossby waves along the shelf-slope may be important in establishing WBC response.

Computed dynamic height from XBT + CTD data of the 1970’s and 1980’s was compared.  Results showed a preponderance of low sea level (shallow pycnocline) in the 1970’s and high sea levels (deeper thermocline) in the 1980’s in the northeast GoA, like the ocean model, but the objective analysis procedure closed contours to produce a weakened Alaskan Stream after the climate shift.  These results are questionable because there is very little data from the 1970’s. It is believed that the Alaskan stream strengthened.

The next topic that was addressed was that if there were changes in the large-scale velocity field in the Gulf of Alaska what type of change would occur in the mesoscale eddy field.  The mesoscale eddy field of the Alaskan Stream and the Alaskan Current has been implicated in cross-shelf, slope transfer of nutrients of the open ocean upwelling regime to the down welling nutrient depleted regime.  The cross-shelf transport of properties associated with mesoscale eddies could be potentially important in explaining what is happening.

A version of the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) was run in eddy permitting mode.  The eddy permitting but non-eddy resolving scenario allowed for several different runs to look at different effects over time.  Art went on to discuss the run for NCEP winds from 1950 to 1999.  The total wind forcing for that time period was entered.  Taking an average ten year period a mean flow pattern that has the Alaska current flowing to the northwest on the east and a strengthened Alaska stream to the northwest and a weaken stream to the other parts of the basin. 

An interesting note was that when the Aleutians blow harder the currents tend to strengthen in the western basin along with a recirculation that kicks up in the basin.  This allows for a current flowing to the northeast on the ocean side of the Alaskan Stream in this area.  There is a counter current that runs along part of the Alaskan Stream that can be picked out as a weaker current as well.  It also flows along the southeastward part of the Aluetian trench.   Previous models in this region have used a flat topography that has the slope going up, but does not have the trench. Therefore, it is thought that the topographic contours contribute in setting up the offshore counter current in the Alaskan Stream. 

What did the mesoscale eddies do?  A slide was explained that showed the distribution of mesoscale eddy variance over the basin before the shift, after the shift, and the difference.  There was a significant change in the mesoscale eddy variance along the Alaskan stream.  There is an intensification of the variance in the place where the stream strengthened in the model and a reduction of the mesoscale eddy variance to the southwest of Kodiak Island.  Along the eastern boundary there are hardly any changes at all.  Therefore, this may be a possible mechanism to explain the east-west asymmetry in the response.  After the shift things did not change much in terms of the mesoscale eddies, but things changed in the west.  How that effects the ecosystem is unclear.    

Stellar sea lions have preferred diet of the following species: herring, sandlance, capelin, smelts, salmon, flatfish, cod, pollock, rockfish, atka mackerel, octopus, and squid. There have been changes in the trawl catches over time.  It transitioned from a shrimp-dominated society in the 1960’s, to a mixture of shrimp and fish in the 1970’s, to different types of fish in the 80’s.  Things have changed in terms of the middle part of the food web in the Gulf of Alaska.

How does this change in food supply affect the stellar sea lion?  The theory is that the juveniles who tend to live on the edge and the low energy prey may lead to stunted growth, delayed age at first birth and increased risk of disease and predation.  Before 1976 the climate favored the development of fattier fish for the stellar sea lions to feed on which led to an energy-rich diet which had a positive effect on their health and allowed for an increase in population.  After the climate shift in 1977 there were leaner fishes which led to an energy poor diet which had a negative effect on their health and caused a decrease in their population. 

NOAA-CIFAR had provided funds to study the effect of Climate Regime Shift and the decline of the stellar sea lion.  A Synthesis Workshop was held for participants from all institutions that were funded. A synthesis paper entitled “The Climate-Ocean Regime Shift Hypothesis of the Steller Sea Lion Decline” resulting from the workshop is now being written.  The thesis of the paper is: spatial and temporal variations in the ocean climate system are creating adaptive opportunities for high trophic levels which are the underlying mechanism for the decline of the steller sea lion populations in the western Gulf of Alaska.

Important results include, temporal issue - 1970s to 1990s changes, spatial issue -  east vs. west asymmetry in Gulf of Alaska, biogeographic transition point at 170W, basin-scale climate changes have regionally sensitive impacts, upscaling from local complexities to broadscale regularities, and eddy variance changes in western Gulf.

There are still some outstanding questions concerning the Climate-Ocean Regime Shift Hypothesis of the Steller Sea Lion Decline.

1.      What mechanisms control the restructuring of the ecosystem by climate, especially concerning fish?

2.      How do human activities and ecosystem interactions work with variable climate forcing to alter Steller sea lion populations?

3.      Do Steller sea lions feed in eddies?

4.      What can be said about changes in sub-surface conditions?

5.      How does vertical mixing vary in space and time?

6.      What other regime shifts may have occurred?

     Last SSC Business Issue:

     Executive scientist for the GLOBEC office

     Dale will draft an ad for an executive scientist for the GLOBEC office which is based out of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.  This will be a faculty-ranked position for a quantitative biologist who will be paid from soft money.  Responsibilities will include light administrative duties and active research.  Dale asked the group to think of candidates for this new position.

     Briefing Book Formats

     The committee was surveyed as to their choice of formats for the briefing books.  After some discussion it was decided to continue to operate with a hard copy and to experiment with an electronic form on the website.


      The maintenance of the GLOBEC website will be transferred to David Robertson at Rutgers University.

     Timeline, Calendar, Publications, etc.

     Dale presented a draft copy of the GLOBEC timeline which was well received by the SSC members.  The timeline will be revised to include information and activities from the onset of GLOBEC in 1987.

In addition to the timeline it was suggested that the publication list for GLOBEC be updated on line.  The website will eventually have hot links to all publications.  PI’s should monitor their papers for updates and get a contribution number for these publications.  The committee will work to find a better way to monitor papers.  One possible program that will be looked at will be Endnote.

Dale went on to discuss the possibility of a US GLOBEC/International GLOBEC online pop-up calendar. 

Dale proposed “Spot-Light” on GLOBEC as an outreach item that will be placed on the website and will highlight the research a specific GLOBEC SSC member. 

Dale asked for any last business issues at which time John Hare spoke about the Climate Change Science Program.  A workshop was held in February in Washington, D.C. to develop a science plan for the ecosystem component of the Climate Change Science Program.  This is an interagency group that is at the cabinet level of the president’s cabinet.  Their charge is to bring together all the different federal agencies to think about climate change.  There is a $2 billion per year budget allocated to develop this science plan.  Seven percent of this is slated for the ecosystem part of the plan.  At this meeting the ocean community was under represented.  John will work to get the ocean community especially GLOBEC more involved. 

The GLOBEC e-mail distribution point address us.globec.ssc@marine.rutgers.edu was given out to all SSC members.  This email address will deliver messages to all SSC members including ex-officio members.  

     Action Items

     Dale read the actions items from the meeting and will type and distribute to all SSC members.   Action Items:

Dale congratulated everyone on a successful meeting and noted that the SSC will meet in the fall in Boulder, Co.  Details will follow.

The meeting adjourned at 1445.