Welcome to the PFEL/GLOBEC page. It describes the
research activities of PFEL scientists as part of the Northeast Pacific
(NEP) Program of US GLOBEC (GLOBal ECosystem Dynamics). It is also supported by core
research activities at PFEL.
Many marine populations common to the NEP have fluctuated coincidentally with
large variations with the physical environment, implying that a physical
mechanism may be driving biological variability. NEP populations co-vary
with distinct populations throughout the North Pacific and in other
eastern boundary ecosystems. This suggests these populations respond to
climate change occurring on basin to global scales.
Correlative studies of physical and biological time series
are the primary basis
connecting climate change and population shifts. Such correlations suggest
potential environmental-fisheries links, but do not clearly identify the dynamical
mechanisms by which the impacts of climate change are transferred through marine
To effectively manage ecosystems and their fisheries, it is
critical to understand, monitor, and predict the physical processes that contribute
to large shifts in the abundance, production, and distribution of marine
populations. The project PATTERNS, SOURCES AND MECHANISMS OF DECADAL-SCALE
VARIABILITY IN THE NORTHEAST PACIFIC seeks to improve our understanding of the links
between environmental and biological variability on interannual to decadal time
This is done principally through the retrospective
analysis of data sets compiled from historical observations of the marine
environment and numerical model simulations. The project relies on state of
the art methods of database development, extraction, and visualization combined
with innovative statistical modeling techniques recently introduced to the area
of climate research.
Our project's goals are consistent with the goal of the NEP
Program: "To understand the effects of climate variability and change on the
distribution, abundance, and protection of marine animals .... in the North Pacific."
This research is funded by the National Science Foundation and
the NOAA Coastal Ocean Program as a project of the US GLOBEC NEP Program. The
GLOBEC-supported research is complemented by base-funded research at PFEL.