The North Pacific marine ecosystem is an assemblage of many local marine ecosystems characterized by regional-specific environmental conditions and biological structures. The status of regional ecosystems is subject to the influence of local changes in various factors as well as interactions with adjacent local marine ecosystems and modifications by basin-scale processes. In recent decades, changes attributable to the influence of global warming have become more apparent, including extreme events in the atmosphere and the ocean that threaten marine ecosystems. Climate projections show monotonic increases in ocean warming and increased frequency of extreme events, such as marine heat waves. Measures to mitigate climate change and to achieve sustainable use of marine resources are integral to the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations in 2015. Adaptation to present and anticipated marine ecosystem change is essential to enable humans to use ecosystem services in a sustainable manner. Consequently, policy makers need information about the status of regional marine ecosystems and forecasts of how they will change. Meeting that need requires information based on an integrated understanding of ecosystem variability in the North Pacific.
We encourage submission of papers on mechanisms of ecosystem responses to natural and anthropogenic forcing across the spectrum of time and space scales in the North Pacific, as well as monitoring, retrospective analysis, and forecasting ecosystem variability. In particular, papers that characterize variability in each regional ecosystem and link them to basin and global scales are welcome. Anticipated changes in North Pacific marine ecosystems include changing water temperature and upwelling intensity, increased occurrence of hypoxia, harmful algal blooms, and ocean acidification, as well as broader impacts from pollutants and contaminants, coastal development, and fishing. In addition, papers are encouraged on strategic options to forestall, mitigate, or adapt to ecosystem change. Examination of interactions among regional marine ecosystems and relationships between regional and basin-scale ecosystem variability will provide an improved understanding of marine ecosystem structure and function in the North Pacific in the face of climate change.