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    Unusual conditions occurred in the eastern Bering Sea in spring - summer 1997. Ice retreating was very rapid, numbers of storms were reduced, amount of cloud free days were extraordinary high, upper mixed layer was anomalously shallow, sea surface temperature in summer was > 4°C above normal and water column stratification was extremely sharp.

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    PICES, the North Pacific Marine Science Organization was founded in 1992 as an intergovernmental organization to deal with scientific problems in the North Pacific Ocean. The main purpose of PICES is to promote and coordinate marine scientific research in order to advance scientific knowledge of the Pacific focusing mainly on the area northward from 30 N. Topics of research include the Bering Sea, circulation and monitoring of the Subarctic Pacific, coastal pelagic fish, practical assessment methodology, climate change and carrying capacity (PICES-GLOBEC CCCC program) etc. Scientists under the PICES programs have been focusing on the studies of responses and interactions of ecosystems to changing physical forcing due to climate changes and human actives. The Republic of Korea, a new member country since 1995, should pay more attention to the PICES actives not only to contribute to the organization but also to benefit its own marine scientific advancement.

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    Some very tiny plants play a very big role in the world's oceans, but there aren't as many of these plants as there used to be. As Doug Schneider reports in this week's Arctic Science Journeys Radio, global warming is reducing the levels of phytoplankton in the world's oceans, and that includes the North Pacific Ocean off Alaska.

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    Surface Phytoplankton with their physiochemical environments were sampled in the international zone of the Bering Sea and in the Bogoslof Island region during summer (July) 1994 and 1995. Surface chl a concentrations ranged from 0.54 to 10.2mug(-1) during the study period. Areas with the higher chl a values (3.4-10.2mugl(-1)) were located in the continental shelf break and in the Bogoslof Island region. Waters in the Bogoslof were characterized by a dominance of microplanktonic (>20mu) diatoms such as Corethron criphilum, Chaetoceros spp., Rhizosolenia spp. The highest chl a value was measured at Station 6 in the Bogoslof with 10.2mugl (-1) which was about 15 to 20 times higher value compared to that in the international zone of the Bering Sea. It is speculated that such a high Phytoplankton biomass in the Bogoslof region was caused by water column stability which was developed near the continental shelf break. Less saline waters (32.2-32.5%) in the northeastern part for the Bering Sea seem to be intruded to the open waters and created a front to cause increase of Phytoplankton biomass. Surface temperature ranged from 5.3 to 8.7 (average 7.2 ± 0.6 C) in 1994 and from 9.8 to 12.4 C (average 10.7 ± 0.8 C) in 1995, respectively. Surface temperatures showed weak influence on Phytoplankton distribution, but about 3 C surface temperature difference between 1994 and 1995 may affect on the phytoplankton growth. Mean values of major nutrients such as nitrate, phosphate and silicate were 6.2 ±3.2 mu, 0.87 ±0.4mu, 14.5 ±7.0mu in 1994, respectively. With increase of Phytoplankton decrease of the major nutrients was observed.

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    In 1997, at the height of an El Ni￱o summer, a massive plankton bloom turned the sea off Alaska the color of milk, and killed hundreds of thousands of seabirds. Now, scientists say that bloom may have triggered profound changes in the ocean food web. Doug Schneider has more, in this week's Arctic Science Journeys Radio.

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    Irregular sampling (see TINRO Catalogue for details) Geographic Area NW Pacific, NE Pacific, Sea of Japan, Sea of Okhotsk, Bering Sea Publication Catalogue of fishery, biological and hydrological data (1980-1992) published by TINRO Regional data Center in 1995 (available from TINRO or PICES Secretariat). Additional catalogue reports frequency of observations by month and year for standard sections for the period 1952-1992 Other Comments Data from 1981-1995 is available (in Russia) in electronic form; older data exists in paper record in TINRO archive A TCODE project

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    ZETESI 1 zooplankton biomass sampled onboard the R/V ARGO available through COPEPOD.See cruise summary web page for a detailed list of cruise dates, number of tows and sampled data. Data can be directly downloaded from the COPEPOD website. Coastal & Oceanic Plankton Ecology, Production & Observation Database (COPEPOD) is an on-line global plankton database by NOAA - National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).Data were digitized from manuscript in collaboration with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission - Global Oceanographic Data Archaeology & Rescue Project (IOC-GODAR), with funding from NOAA ESDIM and Global Climate Change programs.

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    The conditions sufficient for phytoplankton blooms were determined for five domains with different water structure in the northwest part of the Japan Sea: Polar Front, Subarctic, Primorye Current, Coastal and small Pre-Estuarine one (near Suyfun River estuary). Irregular CTD data and the data of plankton net samples (net mouth 0.1 m2, mesh size 0.183 mm, towing 0-100 m) obtained in 1988 - 1998 were used for the analysis (about 700 samples). Note :phytoplankton cells are able to be collected by this net when blooming only.

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    The southeastern Bering Sea shelf is an economically and ecologically important ecosystem subject to considerable natural variability. This variability influences the magnitude of primary production and its vertical and horizontal distribution which, in turn, influences the productivity of higher trophic levels over a large range of temporal and spatial scales. Nutrients are vital to maintain the elevated biomass observed on the shelf and must be continually injected into the euphotic zone to counter losses of phytoplankton to grazing, advection and burial. We focus here on exploring physical processes at the shelf edge and outer shelf, particularly instabilities and eddies in the Bering Slope Current that result in the advection of nutrient rich waters onto the shelf. While such processes have been observed to occur, their impact on the Bering Sea shelf ecosystem has yet to be described. We will use altimeter data from remote sensing to describe mesoscale circulation variability and to identify episodic events of onshelf flow. Satellite tracked drifters will be released to monitor currents and the temporal evolution of ocean color along the slope. One sampling expedition per year for two years will provide detailed information on the dynamics of the Bering Slope Current/Aleutian North Slope Current (BSC/ANSC) system and on bio-optical relationships between phytoplankton biomass and ocean color. Finally, the stability of the BSC/ANSC system will be examined using an analytical, jet-turning-a-corner model. This research will provide collaborating researchers a regional context within which to interpret contemporaneous drifter, hydrographic, biological, and bio-optical data acquired from the shelf/slope region of the southeastern Bering Sea. This project also includes; Edward Cokelet Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, NOAA 7600 Sand Point Way NE Seattle, WA 98115 cokelet@pmel.noaa.gov Terry Whitledge University of Alaska Fairbanks Stephen Okkonen University of Alaska Fairbanks An NPMR project

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    Plankton data were collected in the eastern Bering Sea by the U.S. F/V Sea Storm from August to October 2003. Zooplankton oblique bongo tows (60-cm diameter; 333 and 505 µm mesh size) were conducted from the bottom to surface. Water samples for nutrients, size fractionated chlorophyll a determinations (> 0.7, > 2, and > 10 micrometers), and phytoplankton and microzooplankton species were collected with Niskin bottles from the surface and below the pycnocline.