Predicting the Future Ocean: The Nereus Program

Saturday, February 18, 2012: 8:30 AM-11:30 AM
Room 217-218 (VCC West Building)
Nereus was the eldest son of Pontus (the Sea) and Gaia (the Earth) of Greek mythology. He was a wise god with the power of prophecy and a protector of fishermen. He is a worthy figure to inspire a new interdisciplinary and international program that will predict the future of the world's oceans. How can we ensure there will be fish and a healthy ocean for our children and grandchildren to enjoy? That is the central question for Nereus, a collaborative and capacity-building effort of institutions from the Nippon Foundation, University of British Columbia, Princeton University, Duke University, the United Nations Environment Program's World Conservation Monitoring Center, and the Stockholm Resilience Center. While considerable experience exists for predicting the impact of climate change on the physical environment, the question of how climate change will affect life, be it on land or in the oceans, is largely unexplored, as is knowledge of adaptive measures. To evaluate implications for the global ocean, this cooperative 9-year program focuses on research, capacity building, and outreach. An online framework called The Oracle allows policy-makers to ask questions, and it builds on coupled global climate, ocean circulation, habitat, ecosystem, biodiversity, ocean use, demographic, and human behavior models, describing the period 1950–2100. Panelists will present an overview of the modeling complex as well as initial predictions about the future state of the world's oceans.
Villy Christensen, University of British Columbia
Jeffrey Polovina, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center
and Henrik Ísterblom, Stockholm University
Villy Christensen, University of British Columbia
The Oracle Meets Nereus: Answering Policy Questions About the Future Ocean
William W.L Cheung, University of East Anglia
Predicting Impact of Climate Change on Marine Organisms
Louisa Wood, United Nations Environment Program
Predicting Impact of Climate Change on Critical Marine Habitats
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