PIFSC Scientists Join Colleagues in Symposium Discussions of Climate Variability and North Pacific Ecosystem Impacts

Tuesday April 18, 2006

Scientists from several Pacific Rim nations are meeting in Honolulu this week to exchange information and views on the effects of climate change and variability on ecosystems in the North Pacific Ocean. The "Symposium on Climate Variability and Ecosystem Impacts on the North Pacific: A Basin-Scale Synthesis" is sponsored by the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) and the Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC) project.

Low chlorophyll surface waters normally seen associated with the Hawaiian Archipelago occur farther north during La Niña years. [click the image to see in higher resolution].

The primary scientific objective of the symposium is to present a true synthesis of the effects of climate variability on different time scales, from seasonal to multi-decadal, on the structure and function of the North Pacific. In particular, the objective is to move beyond analyses based on traditional studies of the dynamics of single trophic levels, processes, and ocean regions toward a more integrated understanding of North Pacific ecosystem dynamics.

Scientists from the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) are actively involved in the Symposium. Jason Baker will present a paper (co-authored with PIFSC colleagues Jeffrey Polovina and Evan Howell) on the "Apparent Link Between Survival of Juvenile Hawaiian Monk Seals and Ocean Productivity." Polovina will present a paper (co-authored by fellow PIFSC scientist Donald Kobayashi and colleagues Fei Chai of the University of Maine and Lei Shi and Yi Chao, both from the CalTech Jet Propulsion Laboratory) on "North Pacific Ecosystem Dynamics Investigated With Satellite Remotely Sensed Oceanographic Data and A Coupled Physical Ocean-Ecosystem Model, 1990-2004."

The international affair provides an opportunity for ocean scientists from countries around the Pacific Rim, to share knowledge on topics of vital interest and to foster increased scientific collaboration amongst PICES members.