Key Topic Areas

Deadline for submitting proposals for Session and Workshop topics is June 9, 2017.

Applicants will be notified concerning acceptance; if accepted, applicants will be asked for more detailed information for each Session or Workshop including speakers etc.

The Symposium Organizers invite proposals (submit your proposal here) for session and workshop topics addressing the causes and consequences of changing climate on marine ecosystems within the context of evolving ecosystem drivers as outlined in the Symposium Scope.

We are looking for a broad range of topics and approaches to sharing, synthesizing and discussing information. We encourage applicants to consider innovative ways to communicate results and engage the scientific community, decision-making community and the public in dialog on the effects of – and responses to - changing climate on the world’s oceans including marine resources and resource dependent sectors, communities and economies.

The following are some key topic areas of interest to the Symposium Organizers to help inspire and guide proposals for sessions and workshops:


Characterization of ocean changes and the climate-ocean system

  • The role of oceans in the climate system. Detection and attribution and synergies of climate-related changes in oceans.
  • Projected implications of climate-related change on the ocean physical environment. Includes topics such as issues of chronic and lingering change including changes in circulation systems and flow fields, changes in polar regions including loss of sea ice and cryosphere change, and ocean heat transport.
  • Projected implications of climate-related change on the coupled bio-geochemical ocean environment. Includes a broad scope of potential changes including ocean acidification, carbon uptake by oceans, and changes in dissolved oxygen and others.

Extreme and abrupt changes in ocean systems

  • Observed and projected rates of sea level rise. The special case of small island developing states.
  • Disaster management: Studies of the predictability of extreme weather events and environmental tipping points. This topic could include studies of heat waves, ENSO, hurricanes, and storminess.
  • Potential indirect effects of extreme weather on environmental disasters (e.g, oil spills and pollution).

Impacts of changing climate on ocean physical, chemical and biological conditions

  • Understanding the impacts of changing climate, ocean acidification and ocean deoxygenation on ocean productivity.
  • Projecting impacts of climate-related changes on ocean lower trophic levels including the distribution and abundance of phytoplankton and zooplankton under multiple environmental stressors.
  • Understanding and projecting impacts of changing climate, ocean acidification and ocean deoxygenation on ocean higher trophic level marine resources. This includes a broad range of topics including climate-related impacts on the quality and quantity of marine habitats, the distribution and productivity of marine species (e.g., range shifts, phenology, recruitment, vital rates) and scope for species adaptation.

Impacts of changing climate on ocean-dependent sectors, societies and economies

  • Understanding social and economic impacts of climate-related changes in ocean conditions including impacts on marine resource dependent sectors and communities, food security, societal health and well-being, and economic and cultural considerations.
  • Projecting future ocean scenarios using techniques such as coupled bio-physical-socio-ecological, end-to-end models to project climate change impacts, assess the scope for adaptation, and evaluate the social and economic results of potential management responses.

Responding to climate-related changes in ocean conditions – Governance, institutional and sectoral adaptations

  • Responding to climate-related changes in ocean ecosystems: Governance, institutional, sectoral or societal efforts to adapt to climate-related changes in ocean conditions. Includes examples and options for building and maintaining resilient marine resources (e.g., fish stocks), resource-dependent sectors and communities and food security (e.g., fisheries and marine-related food production systems).
  • Tools and approaches for planning for and mitigating climate-related impacts on ocean ecosystems including restoration and resilience of natural systems, and the development of conservation strategies that incorporate impacts of climate change and ocean acidification.
  • Mitigation options and risk reductions. The role of oceans in mitigation of climate change including blue carbon and the blue economy.

Advancing methods to project climate-related impacts in ocean ecosystems

  • Innovations and improvements expected in sixth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) experiments.
  • Modeling ocean variability (e.g., El Nino Southern Oscillation and other climate models) within the context of a changing climate.
  • Quantifying scenario, parameter, and structural uncertainty in models of different levels of complexity.
  • Tradeoffs in formally tracking species interactions, the human dimension and their feedbacks.
  • When and how to apply ensemble approaches and bias corrections.
  • Development of a global ocean ecosystem observational and modelling network. Essential Ocean Variables (EVOs) to improve and inform management and the public.
  • Techniques for evaluating implications of shared socioeconomic pathways. Techniques for management strategy evaluations.