Feature Publication Archive
Van Pelt, T.I., J.M. Napp, C.J. Ashjan, H.R. Harvey, M.W. Lomas, M.F. Sigler, and P.J. Stabeno (2016): An introduction and overview of the Bering Sea Project: Volume IV. Deep-Sea Res. II, 134, 3–12, doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2016.09.002.
“…the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the North Pacific Research Board (NPRB) created a novel partnership in 2007 to support an ecosystem-scale study to examine how a changing climate and changing sea-ice conditions affect the EBS ecosystem, from physics and chemistry to lower trophic level organisms (e.g., plankton) to humans. The “Bering Sea Project” integrated two major research programs, the NSF-funded Bering Ecosystem Study (BEST) and the NPRB-funded Bering Sea Integrated Ecosystem Research Program (BSIERP... more »
Studying where some of the smallest organisms in the ocean are located can be difficult when they are found beneath the surface. In the late summer and early fall, phytoplankton in the Chukchi Sea are usually found in thin, patchy layers that can only be observed using shipboard surveys. In a collaborative effort between PMEL’s EcoFOCI group and the University of Alaska Fairbanks, scientists were able to map the distribution of subsurface phytoplankton using a novel high-resolution towed instrument platform. A significant fraction of the phytoplankton biomass is contained in these layers,... more »
Bond, N.A., M.F. Cronin, H. Freeland, and N. Mantua (2015): Causes and impacts of the 2014 warm anomaly in the NE Pacific. Geophys. Res. Lett., 42(9), 3414–3420, doi:10.1002/2015GL063306.
Remarkably high sea surface temperature anomalies developed in the NE Pacific Ocean during the winter of 2013/14. This caught the attention of Nick Bond of the University of Washington’s Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO)—who started calling the mass of warm water the “Blob”—and Meghan Cronin of NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL). Their objective was to determine the relative importance of the various upper ocean temperatures that could have been responsible for this short-term climate event.
As detailed in this recent article... more »
Chen, K., L. Ciannelli, M.B. Decker, C. Ladd, W. Cheng, Z. Zhou, and K.-S. Chan (2014): Reconstructing source-sink dynamics in a population with a pelagic dispersal phase. PLoS ONE, 9(5), e95316, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0095316.
Many marine species have a larval phase. In this phase, larvae drifts with the prevailing ocean currents before settling in nursery locations. In such cases, the spawning locations can be represented as sources and the settling locations of the juvenile or adult stages as sinks. Population connectivity and directionality of flow between sources and sinks can have important implications for management and conservation. The reconstruction of source-sink dynamics is often hampered by limited knowledge of the spatial distribution of either the source or sink components or lack of information... more »
Hermann, A.J., G.A. Gibson, N.A. Bond, E.N. Curchitser, K. Hedstrom, W. Cheng, M. Wang, P.J. Stabeno, L. Eisner, and K.D. Cieciel (2013): A multivariate analysis of observed and modeled biophysical variability on the Bering Sea shelf: Multidecadal hindcasts (1970-2009) and forecasts (2010-2040). Deep-Sea Res. II, 94, doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2013.04.007, 121-139.
It is a safe bet that the future will include a warmer Bering Sea. But it is uncertain exactly how climate change will be manifested, and in particular, how fast it will warm in summer versus winter, and in the north versus the south. Nevertheless, these details in the climate forcing are key in terms of their impacts on plankton distributions and types, and ultimately the entire marine ecosystem. The formidable problem of how climate change is liable to impact lower-trophic levels, i.e., the base of the food web, was tackled under the auspices of the Bering Sea Project using novel methods... more »