Physical forcing:

  • What are the characteristics of climate variability, can interdecadal patterns be identified, how and when do they arise?
  • Are climate regime shifts in the eastern and western sides of the subarctic in phase and with the same sign?
  • Do the strengths of the Alaska and California Currents vary inversely, and how are their dynamics related to those of the Kuroshio and Oyashio?

Lower trophic level response:

  • How do primary and secondary producers respond in productivity, and in species and size composition, to climate variability in different ecosystems of the subarctic Pacific?
  • What impacts do variations in flow and dynamics of eastern and western boundary currents have on the productivity of Pacific Rim coastal ecosystems?
  • What limits primary production during each regime?

Higher trophic level response:

  • How do life history patterns, distributions, vital rates, and population dynamics of higher trophic level species respond directly and indirectly to climate variability?
  • What factors affect changes in biological characteristics of Pacific salmon and other key species of the region?
  • How do the abundances, migratory patterns and stock recruitment relationships of different dominant species respond to regime shifts? Is the response of key ecosystem components to regime change characteristic and consistent over several cycles?

Ecosystem interactions:

  • How are subarctic Pacific ecosystems structured? Do higher trophic levels respond to climate variability solely as a consequence of bottom up forcing? Are there significant intra-trophic level and top down effects on lower trophic level production and on energy transfer efficiencies?
  • What factors affect current trends in productivity of subarctic Pacific ecosystems and their impacts on salmonid carrying capacity? To what extent do seasonally migrating species compete with salmonids in the region.
  • What are the causes and consequences of spatial shifts in pelagic ecosystems? How do interannual and decadal variations in ocean conditions affect the species dominance, biomass, and productivity of the key zooplankton and fish species in the ecosystems of the PICES area.


PICES CCCC meets its objectives through task teams, at present there are two active task teams, MODEL and CFAME, which aim to acheive the following goals:

  • Understand the physical, chemical, and biological functioning of marine ecosystems
  • Understand and quantify the impacts of human activities and climate on marine ecosystems
  • Provide advice on methods and tools to guide scientific activities
  • Provide scientific advice towards wise use of the North Pacific Ocean
  • Promote collaboration with organisations, scientific programmes, and stakeholders that are relevant to the PICES goals
  • Provide collaboration among scientists within PICES
  • Maintain an active infrastructure for CCCC
  • Make the scientific products of PICES accessible



Dr H. Batchelder (hbatchelder@coas.oregonstate.edu)

and Prof M. Kishi (kishi@salmon.fish.hokudai.ac.jp)