Summary of Session B - 08:30 - 12:30 , Wednesday 30th August 2000
GLOBEC related studies in the North Atlantic : a perspective for European and North American research cooperation.
GLOBEC - Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics is a part of the IGBP suite of programmes. The aim is to develop our understanding of the marine ecosystem, how it responds to climate variability and change and how it (and the fisheries which it supports) can be managed in a sustainable way.
Three reasons were put forward to support pan North Atlantic rather than regional programmes: There is basin scale physical forcing of the system, as characterised for example by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) ; The spatial scale of some of the biological processes transcends national and regional scales ; Many processes are more easily understood by making basin-wide comparisons.
There are scientific and institutional hurdles to clear in order to develop an integrated; synchronised programme which will address the issues of public concern (sustainable fisheries, ecosystem health).
Nevertheless we can build on existing institutions and have already carried out a number of successful pan North-Atlantic initiatives in this field. Research co-operation across the North Atlantic is already happening, but can be improved in future.
The meeting heard about existing programmes, particularly concerning Calanus Finmarchicus and about possibilities for future grand challenges to carry out synthesis and application of results.