Working Group 40: Climate and Ecosystem Predictability
Motivation and Goals:

To identify, diagnose and quantify predictable response in North Pacific marine ecosystems that arise from regional- and large-scale climate processes.

The North Pacific marine ecosystems are primary sources of ecosystem services for Russia, Canada, Japan, China, Korea and the US (e.g. fishing, shipping, and recreation). Long-term historical observations of physical and biological variables been collected around the North Pacific rim since the 1950s, leading to an excellent foundation for understanding the ecosystem impacts of dominant climate processes such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, North Pacific Gyre Oscillation, and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). In the North Pacific, regional- and large-scale climate forcing impacts a wide range of physical and biotic processes including temperature, stratification, winds, upwelling, and primary and secondary production. Moreover, there is some predictability in the physical system on seasonal (Stock et al. 2015) and even longer (e.g., Qiu et al. 2014) times scales. Nevertheless, there has been no systematic and synergistic attempt to use this knowledge to forecast marine ecosystem responses to climate forcing, which is a primary goal of the PICES FUTURE science plan and CLIVAR. The new PICES working group will leverage the international expertise within PICES and foster more active interactions with CLIVAR to “identify, diagnose and quantify predictable response in North Pacific marine ecosystems that arise from regional- and large-scale climate processes.”

Terms of Reference
  1. Identify a set of North Pacific ecological indicators and/or marine ecosystem functional responses of fish and shellfish, which show predictable responses to large- and regional-scale climate forcing;
  2. Quantify the predictability of the regional ecosystem drivers that are controlled by large-scale climate variability and change;
  3. Identify dynamical and statistical modeling frameworks for climate and ecosystem predictability;
  4. Identify how and which ecosystem predictions can be integrated in the management of ecosystem services;
  5. Identify climate and ocean products that can be used to begin making predictions of North Pacific marine ecosystems;
  6. Outcomes and synergies with international efforts.
Annual Meetings


2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017

Session and Workshop Summaries

S7, Predictions of extreme events in the North Pacific and their incorporation into management strategies

S15, Advances in North Pacific marine ecosystem prediction

S7, Ecological responses to variable climate changes and their applicability to ecosystem predictions


Winter 2020, Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 51-53
Towards an integrated approach to understanding ecosystem predictability in the North Pacific

Primary Journals
A special issue of Frontiers in Marine Science (on North Pacific Climate and Ecosystem Predictability on Seasonal to Decadal Timescales), containing ten papers, resulting from the 2019 Qingdao workshop and papers from the PICES-2019 Annual Meeting in Victoria. Editors: S. Minobe, A. Capotondi, F. Chai, M. Jacox, M Nonaka, and R. Rykaczewski.
Related Materials
Proposal for a Working Group on Climate and Ecosystem Predictability
PICES Members as of January 2022