Study Group: the Arctic Ocean and the Pacific Gateways
Background
The Central Arctic Ocean (CAO), that is in between the North Pacific and North Atlantic, is in rapid transition, in interaction with and impacting these waters. It has become more accessible to a range of activities. For example, rapid loss of sea ice cover has opened up the CAO for potential fishing opportunities. In this context, the agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the CAO has been signed and entered into force which will necessitate joint research and monitoring. The Pacific gateway to the CAO, i.e., the Northern Bering Sea-Chukchi Sea (NBS-CS) is also experiencing unprecedented warming and loss of sea ice as a result of climate change. Declines of seasonal sea ice and warming temperatures have been more prominent in the northern Bering and Chukchi seas than in the European Arctic. Chronic and sudden changes in climate conditions in this Arctic gateway are clearly reshaping the system and its food-webs, and enlarging opportunities for commercial activities (shipping, oil and gas development and fishing), with uncertain and potentially wide-spread cumulative impacts.

PICES took upon responsibilities in the CAO issues when it joined the WGICA (Joint PICES/ICES/PAME Working Group on an Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) for the Central Arctic Ocean (CAO)) by establishing WG39 in 2017. In 2019, PICES also established WG44 (Joint PICES/ICES Working Group on Integrated Ecosystem Assessment for the Northern Bering Sea - Chukchi Sea) in efforts to understand the Arctic system and its impacts to the sub-Arctic and mid-latitude North Pacific. An integrated ecosystem assessment (IEA) is a useful approach that is shared by these two Working Groups, particularly relevant with substantial science and policy needs emerging for the sustainable Arctic. This renders a coordinated IEA of the CAO and NBS-CS as a priority task. In addition, it is of particular significance to developing future approaches for The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development in the Arctic Ocean (UNDOS-Arctic), where science for resilience and sustainability is more important than anywhere else in the world oceans. Despite this continuing significance and unfinished commitment to WGICA and also WGIEANBS-CS, WG 39 and 44 will end the term with the closure of PICES 2022 Annual Meeting. In this context, we propose PICES establish SG-ARC to coordinate and integrate PICES scientific activities on the Arctic issues and to further advance the understanding of the Arctic system and linkages and impacts to the North Pacific.
Terms of Reference
1. Develop a strategic plan on how to coordinate and promote the joint scientific activities of PICES to further advance the understanding the Central Arctic Ocean and its interaction and linkage with its Pacific Gateways. The plan may include:

  • Propose workshops/sessions to engage those involved in IEA and monitoring of the Arctic Ocean and its Gateways;
  • Represent and coordinate responses of PICES concerning the Arctic Ocean and the connected waters in cooperation with partners and other international organizations, including WGICA (Joint PICES/ICES/PAME Working Group on an Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) for the Central Arctic Ocean (CAO)), and WGIEANBS-CS (Joint PICES/ICES Working Group on Integrated Ecosystem Assessment for the Northern Bering Sea - Chukchi Sea);
  • Draft recommendations for better collaboration within PICES and with larger international initiatives relevant to the Arctic Ocean including the UN Decade of Ocean Science;
2. Propose new EGs or AP that can advance the ARC strategic plan.
News
  • New Study Group SG-ARC (Membership and Co-Chair) Prof. Sei-Ichi Saitoh (Co-Chair) Drs. Takafumi Hirata, and Fujio Ohnishi (Japan); Drs. Guangshui Na and Fang Zhang (China).
    12/29/2022 7:15:29 PM PST
Members
Dr. Takafumi Hirata (SG-ARC, WG-44)
Arctic Research Center
Hokkaido University
N21W11 Kita-ku
Sapporo, Hokkaido
Japan 001-0021
+81 -(0)11-706-9633
tahi@arc.hokudai.ac.jp
Dr. Fujio Ohnishi (SG-ARC, WG-39)
Arctic Research Center
Hokkaido University
Kita-21 Nishi-11 Kita-ku
Sapporo, Hokkaido
Japan 001-0021
+81-11-706-9074
+81-11-706-9582
fujio.ohnishi@arc.hokudai.ac.jp
Prof. Sei-Ichi Saitoh (SG-ARC, WG-39)
WG-39 PICES Co-Chair, SG-ARC Co-Chair
Arctic Research Center
Hokkaido University
N21W11 Kita-Ku
Sapporo, Hokkaido
Japan 001-0021
(81-11) 706-9073
(81-138) 43-5015
ssaitoh@salmon.fish.hokudai.ac.jp
Dr. Zhongyong Gao (CC-S, SG-ARC, WG-39, WG-44)
Key Laboratory of Global Change and Marine-Atmospheric Chemistry
Third Institute of Oceanography, MNR
178 Daxue Rd., Siming District
Xiamen, Fujian
People's Republic of China 361005
(86-592) 219 5121
(86-592) 219 5982
GAO@tio.org.cn
Dr. Guangshui Na (MEQ, SB, SG-ARC, WG-39)
MEQ Chair
Marine Chemistry
Hainan Tropical Ocean University
1 Yucai Rd.
Hainan, Sanya District
People's Republic of China 572022
(86-898) 88635812
gsna2010@163.com
Dr. Fang Zhang (SG-ARC, WG-39)
Biological Department
Polar Research Institute of China
451 Jinqiao Rd., Pudong District
Shanghai, People's Republic of China 200136
(86-21) 5871 7635
zhangfang@pric.org.cn
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