National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce

A Holistic Look at the “New Normal” Pacific Arctic

May 09, 2016

SOAR provides a holistic view of recent changes in the Pacific Arctic marine ecosystem. 

May 09, 2016

The Synthesis of Arctic Research (SOAR) project published an update on May 9, 2016 that highlights how the Pacific Arctic’s new normal conditions are affecting a variety of marine life.  SOAR is 6-year interdisciplinary effort led by PMEL and Fisheries scientists that provides a synthetic view of recent changes in the Pacific Arctic marine ecosystem. These recent changes include longer open-water periods during the summer, fewer days of sea ice cover, reduced sea ice thickness, increased growing season of marine algae and lower pH. A second Special Issue is currently underway and builds on themes and new understanding described in the first Special Issue that featured 17 papers from over 100 contributors.

Through collaboration and synthesis, SOAR is increasing scientific understanding of the complex relationships among oceanographic conditions (physics, chemistry, sea ice), and species in various levels of the food web (from zooplankton and forage fish to seabirds and marine mammals), in the rapidly changing Pacific Arctic marine ecosystem.

Read the project update on Eos, the news arm of the American Geophysical Union.