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Climate-based Integrated Ecosystem Assessments for Ocean Resource Management

A special issue of the journal Oceanography published in March highlights a number of accomplishments and findings of the U.S. component of the Global Ocean Ecosystems Dynamics (GLOBEC) program. For over 20 years, this multidisciplinary research program initiated by the United Nations conducted research in the U.S. and around the world, focusing on the potential impacts of global climate change on ocean ecosystems.

The special issue represents the culmination of the last phase of research and grew out of a national symposium organized by the National Academy of Sciences in October 2012. Individual papers examine climate impacts on zooplankton, interactions between atmospheric processes, and ocean ecosystems, advances in ocean ecosystem modeling, and the application of research results in ecosystem-based management.

Some results are informing the development of NOAA’s Integrated Ecosystem Assessments and are helping U.S. regional fishery management councils address environmental change in their ecosystem-based management plans. Long-term sponsored research from NCCOS (19962008), along with research from NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service and the National Science Foundation, supported the U.S. component of the GLOBEC program.

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