Current activities of the PICES-GLOBEC Climate Change and Carrying Capacity (CCCC) programme include two task teams with the following objectives:

MODEL (Conceptual Theoretical and Modeling Studies Task Team)

To advance the development of conceptual, theoretical and modelling studies needed for both regional and basin-scale components of CCCC.

Task Team Co-Chairs:

Shin-ichi Ito (goito@affrc.go.jp) and Thomas Wainwright (thomas.wainwright@noaa.gov)

The objective of the MODEL Task Team of the CCCC is to "advance the development of conceptual, theoretical and modeling studies needed for both regional and basin-scale components of CCCC."

MODEL has reviewed the roles and limitations of modelling for the CCCC Programme, proposed the level of modelling required, and provided a plan for how to promote these modelling activities (PICES Press, vol. 4 No 2; PICES Scientific Report No. 7, 1997). The Task team recognised that many modelling activities are already taking place regarding North Pacific physics and biology. Therefore, the primary role of MODEL has been identified as:

  • Facilitate communication among modelling studies and with field programmes
  • Identify and stimulate areas of modelling that are significant to the CCCC Programme but which are not presently addressed
  • Assist field programmes of CCCC with model-related needs.

In these regards, the MODEL Task Team has developed a prototype lower trophic level model (code-named NEMURO) to simulate physical forcing of lower trophic level dynamics in the North Pacific (PICES Scientific Report No. 15, 2000). To provide input data for the model, physical data sets and parameter files were constructed for three locations in the North Pacific: off Hokkaido, Ocean Station PAPA, and the Eastern Bering Sea. Workshops to develop and expand the model in several aspects, e.g. a bioenergetic fish model (for herring and saury) has been coupled to NEMURO, and NEMURO has been coupled to physical circulation codes.

Annual reports, publications, membership and code for the NEMURO model are available from the MODEL home page.

A special issue of Ecological Modelling on NEMURO and NEMURO.FISH was published in 2007 (Ecological Modelling 202(1-2): 1-224).

CFAME (Climate Forcing and Marine Ecosystem Response Task Team)

To synthesise regional and basin-wide studies and provide a forum for the integration of CCCC-relation hypotheses and data.

Task Team Co-Chairs: Akihiko Yatsu (yatsua@fra.affrc.go.jp) and Kerim Aydin (Kerim.Aydin@noaa.gov)

The aim of the Climate Forcing and Ecosystem Response (CFAME) Task Team is to synthesise regional and basin-wide studies and provide a forum for the integration of CCCC-related hypotheses and data.

Terms of Reference:

  • The CFAME Task Team is responsible for the promotion, coordination, integration and synthesis of research activities related to the CCCC Program among member nations. This goal could be accomplished by convening meetings, periodic scientific symposia or workshops, or by distributing information designed to foster cooperation and integration among existing or developing programs;
  • The CFAME Task Team should provide the scientific body for hypothesis testing of model experiments, by providing a forum for interaction between data-gathering and distribution programs (MONITOR) and theoretical experimentation and development (MODEL and NEXT) as related to climate change impacts on marine ecosystems;
  • Particular emphasis is placed on testing ecosystem-level hypotheses, through review and examination in a collaborative environment, of (i) comparisons between regional and/or basin ecosystems, (ii) linkages in time, space, or seasonality between climate and ecosystems, and (iii) responses of regional ecosystems to basin-scale forcing;
  • The CFAME Task Team should encourage establishment of component activities as needed to facilitate synthesis of the CCCC Program

Further details, including task team membership, scientific publications and annual reports can be found on the CFAME home page.

Past task teams:


Task Team Co-chairs: Dr. Gordon McFarlane and Dr. Andrei S. Krovnin

BASS began work in 1997 with five primary objectives:

  • to undertake retrospective comparison of lower trophic level dynamics in the eastern and western subarctic gyres
  • to provide guidance for standardizing the sampling and analysis methods for zooplankton
  • to develop time-series measurements of primary productivity and zooplankton stocks in the subarctic gyres
  • to develop an inventory of higher trophic species inhabiting the subarctic gyres in the North Pacific
  • to acquire and collate the work or science plans of all agencies/programs conducting research in the eastern and western gyres

Several BASS workshops have resulted in substantial progress on several of these objectives - all but standardizing zooplankton sampling and developing time-series. Information on higher trophic species in the gyres was collated, incorporated into ECOPATH/ECOSIM type models, and used to explore potential consequences of both harvesting and climate change on the ecosystems of the eastern and western gyres. These model activities identified data gaps in our knowledge of the oceanic basins, and suggested priorities for future research.

An Iron Fertilization Experiment Advisory Panel (IFEP) formed as a subgroup of BASS has provided oversight and coordination for several iron experiments that have been conducted in the North Pacific. These experimental manipulations provided insight on the responses of lower trophic levels to enhanced iron availability, in traditionally iron-poor oceanic environments. Experiments have been conducted in both the eastern (by Canada) and western gyre (by Japan).


Task Team Co-Chairs: Dr. Dave Mackas and Prof. Sei-ichi Saitoh

The terms of reference for the MONITOR Task team were:

  • Review existing activities of PICES member nations and suggest improvements in the monitoring of the Subarctic Pacific to further the goals of the CCCC Programme.
  • Consult with REX, BASS and MODEL Task Teams and TCODE on the scientific basis for designing the PICES monitoring system. Questions of standardisation and intercalibration of measurements, particularly in the area of biological collections, should be addressed.
  • Assist in the development of a co-ordinated monitoring programme to detect and describe events, such as El Niņo, that strongly affect the Subarctic.
  • Report to CCCC IP/EC on the monitoring in the Subarctic to be implemented in the international GOOS or other related activities.

MONITOR made excellent progress in addressing the above goals. Major North Pacific time series observation programs were catalogued in PICES Report No.18. However, closer links to TCODE and regional programs are needed to enhance data availability. Progress has been made on specifying performance standards of what a program should measure and how well, but instituting standardized sampling and analysis protocols has not happened. A significant new Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) program in the North Pacific has been instituted under the leadership of MONITOR, and its CPR Advisory Panel. A north-south CPR route from Alaska to Southern California, which transits the subarctic, transitional and subtropical regions is run several times per year, and an east-west route which traverses both subarctic gyres is occupied 1-2 times per year. These routes, which have been supported by diverse funding sources, will begin to provide large scale distributional and abundance data on zooplankton in a very undersampled region of the North Pacific.


Task Team Co-Chairs: Dr. Yoshiro Watanabe and Dr. William T. Peterson

The Regional Experiment (REX) Task Team was established to encourage the development of regional experiments in coastal regions of the North Pacific, and to provide coordination among various marine science research programs (GLOBEC, PICES, federal, etc.) located in the North Pacific. REX began by reviewing the status of national research programmes in order to identify areas for cooperative research experiments in support of the CCCC's.

  • PICES member nations should compile a catalogue of historical samples and data sets that are not yet analysed or readily available
  • Issues of standardisation of sampling and analysis methods for comparative studies should be addressed
  • A series of symposiums and workshops should be held to examine the impact of climate effects on small pelagic species
  • A scientific session that highlights research findings of GLOBEC and GLOBEC-like programmes in the North Pacific should be convened frequently as part of the PICES annual meetings.

REX has held four workshops that have focused on 1) commonalities among key small pelagic stock in the North Pacific, 2) herring and euphausiid population dynamics, 3) trends in herring populations and trophodynamics, and 4) long-term trends in size-at-age among key species of fishes around the North Pacific.