Synthesis of Arctic Research (SOAR) Featured in Special Issue of Progress in Oceanography

August 20, 2015
By Jessica Rohde

The results from the Synthesis of Arctic Research (SOAR) project, led by IARPC’s Distributed Biological Observatory Collaboration Team Leader Sue Moore (NOAA/Fisheries) and Phyllis Stabeno (NOAA/OAR), and supported by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, is now available in a special issue of Progress in Oceanography.

More than 100 Arctic scientists and local experts completed a multidisciplinary synthesis of marine ecosystem science in the Pacific Arctic to better understand recent, extreme changes in the region's biophysics. The SOAR project uses completed and ongoing research to capture the conditions of the 'new state' of the Pacific Arctic.

The synthesis covers three themes, with five papers focusing on observations and models of sea ice loss and effects on primary production; five papers focused on the response of mid-level trophic species (forage fish and zooplankton) to the 'new state' of the Arctic; and six papers focused on the responses of upper trophic level species (marine birds and mammals). A second SOAR special issue, building upon this new understanding of the current state of the Pacific Arctic marine ecosystem, is now underway.

Synthesis Highlights:

  • Over the decade 2004-2013 dramatic environmental changes in the Pacific Arctic suggest a 'new normal' climate is emerging;
  • Variable advection and hydrographic processes are key influences on benthic hotspots for seabird and marine mammal predators;
  • Six bowhead whale core-use areas are identified, and body condition suggests bowheads are faring well despite sea ice loss; and
  • The Arctic Marine Pulses (AMP) conceptual model aims to animate advection models and link to pelagic-benthic coupling models.

Synthesis findings published in this special issue, including 17 papers on topics ranging from ocean physics to whales, are available at:

Four of the special issue papers, including the preface to the special issue by Moore and Stabeno, are open access. To read these papers, go to:

For more information, go to:

Or, contact: Sue Moore.

Posted by Jessica Rohde on behalf of Sue Moore, NOAA.


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