Oceans and ClimateBranch: Process-Oriented Studies
Through the years Branch staff have conducted or participated in a variety of programs focused on understanding the influence of the physical environment on the recruitment of the commercially important fish stocks and on the productivity of the shelf ecosystem in general. These studies have included measurement and analysis of the regional physical oceanography, the zooplankton populations, and dynamics of the early life history (ELH) of the fish stocks.
For much of the 1990s, the branch staff had participated in the US GLOBEC Georges Bank program (see www.globec.whoi.edu). The goal of the program was to understand the implications of climate change on the Georges Bank ecosystem, with particularly reference to the recruitment of the Bank's cod and haddock stocks. Intensive field work was conducted from 1995-1999. Synthesis activities for the program are still underway.
During 2001-2002, the Branch collaborated with the Irish Marine Institute in a GLOBEC-like program focused in the Irish Sea (contact Gregory.Lough@noaa.gov).
More recent process studies involve the effect of climate change on fish distributions such as those led by Janet Nye and Jon Hare.