Co-Sponsored by IMBER
Co-Convenors: Harold P. Batchelder (U.S.A.), Michael Foreman (Canada), Anne B. Hollowed (U.S.A.) and Hiroaki Saito (Japan)
The prediction of responses of marine ecosystems to future climate scenarios is an important objective of PICES’ new science program, FUTURE (Forecasting and Understanding Trends, Uncertainty and Responses of North Pacific Marine Ecosystems). However, the marine ecosystem is part of the earth system and its prediction needs integrated knowledge from physical, chemical, and biological perspectives. Earth system science is an interdisciplinary approach that integrates anthropology, atmospheric science, biology, oceanography, geophysics and policy to provide predictions of ecosystem response to climate change. The earth system is complex with non-linear feedbacks, threshold responses, and, in some cases, irreversible change. Understanding the mechanisms controlling these system properties is critical to accurately forecasting future states of nature in a changing climate. Moreover, conducting large-scale experiments on the earth system is impossible. Therefore, regional marine ecosystem models should include the earth system science links that are essential for producing better predictions of marine ecosystem response to future climate scenarios. This session will focus on multi-disciplinary coupled models and theoretical, observational and experimental studies designed to provide outlooks and/or forecasts of marine ecosystems. Outlooks and forecasts differ in that outlooks are qualitative with (often) unbounded uncertainties, while forecasts are often quantitative, but must have bounded certainties. Presentations that focus on both long-term and short-term predictions, and that link two or more disciplines (such as physical oceanography, climate, ecosystem dynamics, marine resource management, or socio-economic systems) are welcome. Presentations that explore what additional information or data are needed to provide outlooks and forecasts, and especially to transition from providing outlooks to providing forecasts are desired.