Mark R. Payne is a Senior Researcher at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU-Aqua) in Copenhagen, Denmark, whose research examines the impacts of climate change and climate variability on life in the ocean. His work is pioneering the development of Climate Services for monitoring and managing life in the ocean in Europe and involves coupling biological knowledge to climate models to produce predictions that are of direct relevance to end-users. Payne has published over 40 articles in a wide range of scientific journals including Nature and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and is the leader the Climate Services work package within the EU project “Blue Action”.
Marine scientists have long dreamed of forecasting life in the ocean, but after a century of trying, we have little to show for our efforts. However, recent years have seen a rapid development in the ability of earth system models to predict the physical state of the ocean on seasonal (3-6 months) and even decadal (5-10 years) time scales. Such forecasts are potentially of great value to society, as these are the time-scales where many important decisions are made. Here I review the rapidly emerging field of marine ecological forecasting that aims to generate such predictions of biological variables and develop so-called “Marine Ecological Climate Services”. I first examine existing ecological forecast products globally to identify the conditions where forecasts have been successfully developed. I then use these lessons to identify “low-hanging fruit” that can potentially be predicted and illustrate these approaches to prediction using examples of both successes and failures from my own work in Europe, including the distribution of Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) and blue whiting (Micromesistius poutassou), the productivity of herring (Clupea harengus) and citizen-science driven forecasts of Garfish (Belone belone) migration. Ensuring the usefulness of these forecast products requires close collaboration between actively engaged end-users and researchers and I discuss the importance of co-development. Finally, I look at future opportunities, approaches and applications, including the use of forecast information to support climate adaptation and sustainable development goals.
Arranged date for the seminar talk: Oct 22, 2018 at 14.15
Place: Bjerknes lecture room 4020, Jahnebakken 5