National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2011

Climate forcing and the California Current ecosystem

King, J.R., V.N. Agostini, C.J. Harvey, G.A. McFarlane, M.G.G. Foreman, J.E. Overland, E. Di Lorenzo, N.A. Bond, and K.Y. Aydin

ICES J. Mar. Sci., 68(6), 1199–1216, doi: 10.1093/icesjms/fsr009 (2011)

The Climate Forcing and Marine Ecosystem (CFAME) Task Team of the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) was formed to address climate forcing impacts on ecosystem structure and productivity of marine species. For the California Current system, the Task Team described the physical processes, built an overview of species across trophic levels, and described how the population dynamics of these species have changed over time. Based on the synthesis work, conceptual models were developed describing the potential pathways linking climate forcing, oceanography, and species' responses. The resultant empirical data scenarios draw on ecosystem histories to provide a synopsis of expected change given global climate change. The multidisciplinary team faced challenges and limitations in their attempt to draw connections between the outputs from global climate models (GCMs), the physical processes, and the subsequent impacts on species via the identified pathways. To some degree, there was a mismatch of variables that fishery scientists identified as important in determining species' response to climate and physical forcing and the variables that current GCMs can now resolve at the regional level. These gaps will be important for researchers to consider as they begin to develop higher-resolution climate and regional oceanographic models for forecasting changes in species' productivity.

Feature Publications | Outstanding Scientific Publications

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