map of Alaska LME

At 44,000 miles long, Alaska’s shoreline is more than double the length of the East and West coasts of the United States combined. It provides diverse habitats for marine life, and supports important ecosystem services for Alaska’s communities and economy. The Alaska region is made up of 5 distinct ecosystems: the Gulf of Alaska (GOA), Aleutian Islands (AI), Eastern Bering Sea (EBS), Beaufort Sea, and the Chukchi Sea (Alaskan Arctic). These ecosystems support extensive high-value commercial fisheries, indigenous community’s subsistence uses, oil and gas development, and other economic and cultural uses. Each of these high latitude ecosystems is distinct in structure, function and human activity. Indicators are presented for these marine ecosystems as a regional composition, unless otherwise noted.

Over half of the US commercial seafood harvest comes from Alaska, and the Aleutian Islands are a major transit for the Great Circle Route - linking commerce from the U.S. west coast to southern Asia. No other marine system in the U.S. has such extreme weather and climate, vast geographic distances (larger than all other U.S. marine systems combined), and such an extensive coastline.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO)

.

graph of PDO 1980-2020

Description of time series:

Positive PDO values typically mean cold, La Niña conditions, and negative PDO values typically mean warm, El Niño conditions. During the last five years, the PDO indicator shows a significant downward trend.

 

Description of gauge:

The unitless two-way gauge depicts whether the average of the last 5 years of data for the climate indicator is above or below the median value of the entire time series. High values in either direction mean extreme variation from the median value of the entire time series. 

 

Description of Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO):

The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is a long-term pattern of Pacific climate variability. The extreme phases of this climatic condition are classified as warm or cool, based on deviations from average ocean temperature in the northeast and central North Pacific Ocean. When the PDO has a positive value, sea surface temperatures are below average (cool) in the interior North Pacific and warm along the Pacific Coast. When the PDO has a negative value, the climate patterns are reversed, with above average sea surface temperatures in the interior and sea surface temperatures below average along the North American coast. The PDO waxes and wanes; warm and cold phases may persist for decades. Major changes in northeast Pacific marine ecosystems have been correlated with phase changes in the PDO. Warm phases have seen enhanced coastal ocean biological productivity in Alaska and inhibited productivity off the west coast of the United States, while cold PDO phases have seen the opposite, north-south pattern of marine ecosystem productivity. We present data from the Pacific Islands, Alaska, and California Current regions.

This climate condition impacts people and ecosystems across the globe and each of the indicators presented here. Interactions between the ocean and atmosphere alter weather around the world and can result in severe storms or mild weather, drought, or flooding. Beyond “just” influencing the weather and ocean conditions, these changes can produce secondary results that influence food supplies and prices, forest fires and flooding, and create additional economic and political consequences.

 

Data:

Climate indicator data was accessed from the NOAA Climate Prediction Center (https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/data/teledoc/nao.shtmlftp://ftp.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/wd52dg/data/indices/nao_index.tim). The data plotted are unitless and based on Sea Surface Temperature anomalies averaged across a given region.

East Pacific/ North Pacific Teleconnection Pattern Index (EP-NP)

.

graph of East Pacific-North Pacific Teleconnection index from 1980-2020

Description of time series:

Positive EP-NP values mean above-average surface temperatures over the eastern North Pacific, and below-average temperatures over the central North Pacific and eastern North America and the opposite for negative EP-NP values. During the last five years, the EP-NP indicator shows no significant trend.

 

Description of gauge:

The unitless two-way gauge depicts whether the average of the last 5 years of data for the climate indicator is above or below the median value of the entire time series. High values in either direction mean extreme variation from the median value of the entire time series. 

 

Description of East Pacific/ North Pacific Teleconnection Pattern Index:

The East Pacific/ North Pacific Teleconnection Pattern Index is a measure of climate variability. Positive EP-NP values mean above-average surface temperatures over the eastern North Pacific, and below-average temperatures over the central North Pacific and eastern North America and the opposite for negative EP-NP values.

This climate condition impacts people and ecosystems across the globe and each of the indicators presented here. Interactions between the ocean and atmosphere alter weather around the world and can result in severe storms or mild weather, drought, or flooding. Beyond “just” influencing the weather and ocean conditions, these changes can produce secondary results that influence food supplies and prices, forest fires and flooding, and create additional economic and political consequences.

 

Data:

Climate indicator data was accessed from the NOAA Climate Prediction Center (https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/data/teledoc/nao.shtmlftp://ftp.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/wd52dg/data/indices/nao_index.tim). The data plotted are unitless anomalies and averaged across a given region. 

 

El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)

.

graph of the Oceanic Nino index for 1980-2020

Description of time series:

The Oceanic Niño Index (ONI) is NOAA’s primary index for monitoring the El Niño-Southern Oscillation climate pattern. It is based on Sea Surface Temperature values in a particular part of the central equatorial Pacific, which scientists refer to as the Niño 3.4 region. Positive values of this indicator, greater than +0.5, indicate warm El Niño conditions, while negative values, less than -0.5, indicate cold La Niña conditions. The ONI indicator changed from positive to negative during the summer of 2020, and is now showing La Niña conditions.

 

Description of gauge:

The unitless two-way gauge depicts the most recent seasonal value for the ONI showing how far it is above or below the median value of the entire time series. High values in either direction mean extreme variation from the median value of the entire time series. 

 

Description of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO):

El Niño and La Niña are opposite phases of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), a cyclical condition occurring across the Equatorial Pacific Ocean with worldwide effects on weather and climate. During an El Niño, surface waters in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific become warmer than average and the trade winds - blowing from east to west - greatly weaken. During a La Niña, surface waters in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific become much cooler, and the trade winds become much stronger. El Niños and La Niñas generally last about 6 months but can extend up to  2 years. The time between events is irregular, but generally varies between 2-7 years. To monitor ENSO conditions, NOAA operates a network of buoys, which measure temperature, currents, and winds in the equatorial Pacific. 

 

This climate pattern impacts people and ecosystems around the world. Interactions between the ocean and atmosphere alter weather globally and can result in severe storms or mild weather, drought or flooding. Beyond “just” influencing the weather and ocean conditions, these changes can produce secondary results that influence food supplies and prices, forest fires and flooding, and create additional economic and political consequences. For example, along the west coast of the U.S., warm El Niño events are known to inhibit the delivery of nutrients from subsurface waters, suppressing local fisheries. 

 

Data:

Climate indicator data was accessed from the NOAA Climate Prediction Center (https://origin.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff…). The data are plotted in degrees Celsius and represent Sea Surface Temperature anomalies averaged across the so-called Niño 3.4 region in the east-central tropical Pacific between 120°-170°W.

Sea Surface Temperature

East Bering Sea

graph of sea surface temperature for the East Bering Sea region from 1980-2020

Description of time series:

The time series shows the integrated sea surface temperature for this entire region.  During the last five years there has been a positive trend and values are greater than 90% of all observed data in the time series.

 

Description of gauge:

This gauge does not show actual mean temperatures, but rather the gauge depicts the average of the last 5 years of data for Sea Surface Temperature relative to the median value of the entire time series.  A gauge indicating 75 or greater indicates warmer than average temperatures over the past 5 years, whereas a gauge indicating 25 or less indicates cooler than average temperatures over the time period. The current value indicates that sea surface temperature is at some of the hottest values of what has been observed. Persistently warm conditions such as these can result in profound changes to the regional ecosystem.

 

Description of Sea Surface Temperature:

Sea Surface Temperature (SST) is defined as the average temperature of the top few millimeters of the ocean. This temperature impacts the rate of all physical, chemical, and most biological processes occurring in the ocean. Sea Surface Temperature is globally monitored by sensors on satellites, buoys, ships, ocean reference stations, AUVs and other technologies. 

 

Sea Surface Temperature monitoring tells us how the ocean and atmosphere interact, as well as providing fundamental data on the global climate system. This information also aids us in weather prediction i.e. identifying the onset of El Niño and La Niña cycles - multiyear shifts in atmospheric pressure and wind speeds. These shifts affect ocean circulation, global weather patterns, and marine ecosystems. Sea Surface Temperature anomalies have been linked to shifting marine resources. With warming temperatures, we observe the poleward movements of fish and other species. Temperature extremes - both ocean heatwaves and cold spells, have been linked to coral bleaching as well as fishery and aquaculture mortality. We present annual average SST in all regions.

 

Data:

The sea surface temperature were accessed from (https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oisst).  The data are plotted in degrees Celsius.

Sea Surface Temperature

Gulf of Alaska

graph of sea surface temperature for the Gulf of Alaska region from 1980-2020

Description of time series:

The time series shows the integrated sea surface temperature for this entire region.  During the last five years there has been a positive trend and values have remained within the 10th and 90th percentiles. 

 

Description of gauge:

This gauge does not show actual mean temperatures, but rather the gauge depicts the average of the last 5 years of data for Sea Surface Temperature relative to the median value of the entire time series.  A gauge indicating 75 or greater indicates warmer than average temperatures over the past 5 years, whereas a gauge indicating 25 or less indicates cooler than average temperatures over the time period. The current value indicates that sea surface temperature is at some of the hottest values of what has been observed. Persistently warm conditions such as these can result in profound changes to the regional ecosystem.

 

Description of Sea Surface Temperature:

Sea Surface Temperature (SST) is defined as the average temperature of the top few millimeters of the ocean. This temperature impacts the rate of all physical, chemical, and most biological processes occurring in the ocean. Sea Surface Temperature is globally monitored by sensors on satellites, buoys, ships, ocean reference stations, AUVs and other technologies. 

 

Sea Surface Temperature monitoring tells us how the ocean and atmosphere interact, as well as providing fundamental data on the global climate system. This information also aids us in weather prediction i.e. identifying the onset of El Niño and La Niña cycles - multiyear shifts in atmospheric pressure and wind speeds. These shifts affect ocean circulation, global weather patterns, and marine ecosystems. Sea Surface Temperature anomalies have been linked to shifting marine resources. With warming temperatures, we observe the poleward movements of fish and other species. Temperature extremes - both ocean heatwaves and cold spells, have been linked to coral bleaching as well as fishery and aquaculture mortality. We present annual average SST in all regions.

 

Data:

The sea surface temperature were accessed from (https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oisst).  The data are plotted in degrees Celsius.

Sea ice extent

graph of summer (September) sea ice extent from 1980-2019

Description of time series:

The time series shows the Sea Ice extent in September of each year to give a sense of the summertime (i.e. minimum annual) extent through the years of sea-ice across the entire Northern Hemisphere, which includes the Arctic Ocean and the Hudson Bay. During the last five years, there has been no notable trend and values are within the 10th and 90th percentiles, albeit near the lower end of the time series.

 

 Description of gauge:

The gauge depicts the average of the last 5 years of data for sea ice relative to the median value of the entire time series. High values near 100 mean a large extent of sea ice, low values near 0 mean a lesser amount of sea ice.  The current value indicates that sea is well below the median value of the entire time series. 

 

Description of Sea Ice Extent:

Unlike icebergs, glaciers, ice sheets, and ice shelves, which originate on land, sea ice forms, expands, and melts in the ocean. Sea ice influences global climate by reflecting sunlight back into space. Because this solar energy is not absorbed into the ocean, temperatures nearer the poles remain cool. When sea ice melts, the surface area reflecting sunlight decreases, allowing more solar energy to be absorbed by the ocean, causing temperatures to rise. This creates a positive feedback loop. Warmer water temperatures delay ice growth in the autumn and winter, and the ice melts faster the following spring, exposing dark ocean waters for longer periods the following summer.

Sea ice affects the movement of ocean waters. When sea ice forms, ocean salts are left behind. As the seawater gets saltier, its density increases, and it sinks. Surface water is pulled in to replace the sinking water, which in turn becomes cold and salty and sinks. This initiates deep-ocean currents driving the global ocean conveyor belt. 

Sea ice is an important element of the Arctic system. It provides an important habitat for biological activity, i.e. algae grows on the bottom of sea ice, forming the basis of the Arctic food web, and it plays a critical role in the life cycle of many marine mammals - seals and polar bears. Sea ice also serves a critical role in supporting Indigenous communities culture and survival. We present the annual sea ice extent in millions of Kilometers for the Arctic region.

 

Data:

Sea ice data was accessed from the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/snow-and-ice/extent/ , with the data pulled from here: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/snow-and-ice/extent/sea-ice/N/0.csv.  The data are plotted in units of million square km.     

Sea level - southern Alaska

.

graph of coastal sea level for southern Alaska from 1980-2020

Description of time series:

The time series shows the relative sea level for this region. During the last five years there has been no notable trend and values have remained within the 10th and 90th percentiles.

 

Description of gauge:

The gauge depicts the average of the last 5 years of data for sea level relative to the median value of the entire time series. High values near 100 mean higher sea level, low values near 0 mean a lower sea level.  The current value indicates that sea level is near the higher end of what has been observed.

 

Description of Sea Level:

Sea level varies due to the force of gravity, the Earth’s rotation and irregular features on the ocean floor. Other forces affecting sea levels include temperature, wind, ocean currents, tides, etc. With 40 percent of Americans living in densely populated coastal areas, having a clear understanding of sea level trends is critical to societal and economic well being.

 

Measuring and predicting sea levels, tides and storm surge are important for determining coastal boundaries, ensuring safe shipping, and emergency preparedness, etc. NOAA monitors sea levels using tide stations and satellite laser altimeters. Tide stations around the globe tell us what is happening at local levels, while satellite measurements provide us with the average height of the entire ocean. Taken together, data from these sources are fed into models that tell us how our ocean sea levels are changing over time. For this site, data from tide stations around the US were combined to create regionally averaged records of sea-level change since 1980. We present data for all regions.

 

Data:

Source: https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/stations.html?type=Water+Levels These data are measurements of relative sea level from NOAA tide gauges that have >20 years of hourly data. These local measurements are regionally averaged by taking the median value of all the qualifying stations within a region. The measurements are in meters and are relative to the year 2000. 

Sea level - northern Alaska

.

graph of coastal sea level for northern Alaska from 1980-2020

Description of time series:

The time series shows the relative sea level for this region. During the last five years there has been a positive trend and while values have remained within the 10th and 90th percentiles, albeit near the higher range of time series values.

 

Description of gauge:

The gauge depicts the average of the last 5 years of data for sea level relative to the median value of the entire time series. High values near 100 mean higher sea level, low values near 0 mean a lower sea level.  The current value indicates that sea level is near the higher end of what has been observed.

 

Description of Sea Level:

Sea level varies due to the force of gravity, the Earth’s rotation and irregular features on the ocean floor. Other forces affecting sea levels include temperature, wind, ocean currents, tides, etc. With 40 percent of Americans living in densely populated coastal areas, having a clear understanding of sea level trends is critical to societal and economic well being.

Measuring and predicting sea levels, tides and storm surge are important for determining coastal boundaries, ensuring safe shipping, and emergency preparedness, etc. NOAA monitors sea levels using tide stations and satellite laser altimeters. Tide stations around the globe tell us what is happening at local levels, while satellite measurements provide us with the average height of the entire ocean. Taken together, data from these sources are fed into models that tell us how our ocean sea levels are changing over time. For this site, data from tide stations around the US were combined to create regionally averaged records of sea-level change since 1980. We present data for all regions.

Data:

Source: https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/stations.html?type=Water+Levels These data are measurements of relative sea level from NOAA tide gauges that have >20 years of hourly data. These local measurements are regionally averaged by taking the median value of all the qualifying stations within a region. The measurements are in meters and are relative to the year 2000.  

 

Chlorophyll-a - East Bering Sea

graph of chlorophyll A from the East Bering Sea region from 1980-2020

Description of time series:

During the last five years the chlorophyll a indicator shows a significant upward trend.

 

Description of gauge:

The gauge value of 70 indicates that over the last five years, average chlorophyll a has been higher than the median value.

 

Description of Chlorophyll a:

At the base of most marine food webs are microscopic plants, called phytoplankton - which also produce nearly half of the Earth’s oxygen. One way we measure the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean is via a pigment that phytoplankton produce - chlorophyll a. Using ocean color sensors on satellites, we can measure the amount of chlorophyll a in surface waters. Environmental and oceanographic factors continuously influence the abundance, composition, spatial distribution, and productivity of phytoplankton. Tracking the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean gives us the status of the base of the food web, and how much food is available for other animals to grow. Changes in the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean are part of the natural seasonal cycle, but can also indicate an ecosystem’s response to a major external disturbance.

 

Overall Scores mean the following:

  • 0 - 10:   “significantly lower” the long term median state
  • 10 - 25:  “considerably lower” the long term median state
  • 25 - 50:  “slightly lower” the long term median state
  • 50:  the long term median state
  • 50 - 75:  “slightly above” the long term median state
  • 75 - 90  “considerably above” the long term median state
  • 90 - 100:  “significantly higher” the long term median state

High values of Chlorophyll a can be good (lots of big nutrious diatoms) or bad (Harmful Algal Blooms), depending on the species present.

 

Data:

Chlorophyll a data were obtained from the NOAA Fisheries Coastal & Oceanic Plankton Ecology, Production, & Observations Database. Measurements of ocean chlorophyll concentration were combined from both the SeaWiFS and MODIS-Aqua "ocean color" datasets and binned at 0.5 x 0.5 degree latitude-longitude boxes, annual averages for each year calculated from the average of all monthly means in that year, and the annual mean was calculated as the average of all annual means. Source: https://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/copepod/about/about-copepod.html.

Chlorophyll a - Gulf of Alaska

graph of chlorophyll A for the Gulf of Alaska region from 1980-2020

Description of time series:

During the last five years the chlorophyll a indicator shows no significant trend but is above the 90th percentile.

 

Description of gauge:

The gauge value of 90 indicates that over the last five years, average chlorophyll a has been very high compared to the median value.

 

Description of Chlorophyll a:

At the base of most marine food webs are microscopic plants, called phytoplankton - which also produce nearly half of the Earth’s oxygen. One way we measure the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean is via a pigment that phytoplankton produce - chlorophyll a. Using ocean color sensors on satellites, we can measure the amount of chlorophyll a in surface waters. Environmental and oceanographic factors continuously influence the abundance, composition, spatial distribution, and productivity of phytoplankton. Tracking the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean gives us the status of the base of the food web, and how much food is available for other animals to grow. Changes in the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean are part of the natural seasonal cycle, but can also indicate an ecosystem’s response to a major external disturbance.

 

Overall Scores mean the following:

  • 0 - 10:   “significantly lower” the long term median state
  • 10 - 25:  “considerably lower” the long term median state
  • 25 - 50:  “slightly lower” the long term median state
  • 50:  the long term median state
  • 50 - 75:  “slightly above” the long term median state
  • 75 - 90  “considerably above” the long term median state
  • 90 - 100:  “significantly higher” the long term median state

High values of Chlorophyll a can be good (lots of big nutrious diatoms) or bad (Harmful Algal Blooms), depending on the species present.

 

Data:

Chlorophyll a data were obtained from the NOAA Fisheries Coastal & Oceanic Plankton Ecology, Production, & Observations Database. Measurements of ocean chlorophyll concentration were combined from both the SeaWiFS and MODIS-Aqua "ocean color" datasets and binned at 0.5 x 0.5 degree latitude-longitude boxes, annual averages for each year calculated from the average of all monthly means in that year, and the annual mean was calculated as the average of all annual means. Source: https://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/copepod/about/about-copepod.html.

Zooplankton

graph of zooplankton biomass for the Alaska region from 1980-2020

Description of time series:

During the last five years the zooplankton biomass indicator shows a significant upward trend.

 

Description of gauge:

The gauge value of 65 indicates that over the last five years, average zooplankton biomass has been higher than the median value.

 

Description of Zooplankton:

Zooplankton are a diverse group of animals found in oceans, bays, and estuaries. By eating phytoplankton, and each other, zooplankton play a significant role in the transfer of materials and energy up the oceanic food web (e.g., fish, birds, marine mammals, humans.) Like phytoplankton, environmental and oceanographic factors continuously influence the abundance, composition and spatial distribution of zooplankton. These include the abundance and type of phytoplankton present in the water, as well as the water’s temperature, salinity, oxygen, and pH. Zooplankton can rapidly react to changes in their environment. For this reason monitoring the status of zooplankton is essential for detecting changes in, and evaluating the status of ocean ecosystems. We present the annual average total biovolume of zooplankton in the Alaska, California Current, Gulf of Mexico and Northeast regions.

 

Overall Scores mean the following:

  • 0 - 10: The five-year zooplankton biomass average is very low compared to the median value.
  • 10 - 25: The five-year zooplankton biomass average is much lower than the median value.
  • 25 - 50: The five-year zooplankton biomass average is lower than the median value.
  •  50: The five-year zooplankton biomass average equals the median value.
  • 50 - 75: The five-year zooplankton biomass average is higher than the median value.
  • 75 - 90: The five-year zooplankton biomass average is much higher than the median value.
  • 90 - 100: The five-year zooplankton biomass average is very high compared to the median value.

High values of zooplankton can be good (lots of lipid rich colder water species) or bad (lots of lipid poor warmer water species), depending on the region.

 

Data:

Zooplankton data for each region were obtained from the NOAA Fisheries Coastal & Oceanic Plankton Ecology, Production, & Observations Database, an integrated data set of quality-controlled, globally distributed plankton biomass and abundance data with common biomass units and served in a common electronic format with supporting documentation and access software. Source: https://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/copepod/about/about-copepod.html

 

Forage fish

.

graph of forage fish biomass for the Alaska region from 1980-2020

Description of time series:

During the last five years the forage fish biomass shows a significant downward trend.

 

Description of gauge:

The Gauge value of 65 indicates that over the last five years, the forage fish biomass is higher than the median value.

 

Description of forage fish:

Forage fish or otherwise known as small pelagics are fish and invertebrates (like squids) that inhabit - the pelagic zone - the open ocean. The number and distribution of pelagic fish vary regionally, depending on multiple physical and ecological factors i.e. the availability of light, nutrients, dissolved oxygen, temperature, salinity, predation, abundance of phytoplankton and zooplankton, etc. Small pelagics are known to exhibit “boom and bust” cycles of abundance in response to these conditions. Examples include anchovies, sardines, shad, menhaden and the fish that feed on them

Small pelagic species are often important to fisheries and serve as forage for commercially and recreationally important fish, as well as other ecosystem species (e.g. seabirds and marine mammals). They are a critical part of marine food webs and important to monitor because so many other organisms depend on them. We present the annual total biomass of small pelagics/forage fish in the Alaska, California Current, and Northeast regions, as well as selected taxa in the Gulf of Mexico region.

 

Overall Scores means the following:

  • 0 - 10: The five-year forage fish small pelagics average is very low compared to the median value.
  • 10 - 25: The five-year forage fish small pelagics average is much lower than the median value.
  • 25 - 50: The five-year forage fish small pelagics average is lower than the median value.
  • 50: The five-year forage fish small pelagics average equals the median value.
  • 50 - 75: The five-year forage fish small pelagics average is higher than the median value.
  • 75 - 90: The five-year forage fish small pelagics average is much higher than the median value.
  • 90 - 100: The five-year forage fish small pelagics average is very high compared to the median value.

 

Data:

Data for forage fish and small pelagics were obtained from regional NOAA Integrated Ecosystem Assessment Program teams that produce indicators and Ecosystem Status Report. For more information https://www.integratedecosystemassessment.noaa.gov/

 

Seabirds

graph of seabirds for the Alaska region from 1980-2020

Description of time series:

During the last five years the seabird breeding index shows a significant downward trend.

 

Description of gauge:

The Gauge value of 13 indicates that over the last five years, the seabird breeding index is much lower than the median value.

 

Description of Seabirds:

Seabirds are a vital part of marine ecosystems and valuable indicators of an ecosystem’s status.  Seabirds are attracted to fishing vessels and frequently get hooked or entangled in fishing gear, especially longline fisheries. This is a common threat to seabirds. Depending on the geographic region, fishermen in the United States often interact with albatross, cormorants, gannet, loons, pelicans, puffins, gulls, storm-petrels, shearwaters, terns, and many other species. We track seabirds because of their importance to marine food webs, but also as an indication of efficient fishing practices.  We present estimates of seabird abundance in the Alaska, California Current, Gulf of Mexico and Northeast regions.

Overall Scores means the following:

  • 0 - 10: The five-year seabirds average is very low compared to the median value.
  • 10 - 25: The five-year seabirds average is much lower than the median value.
  • 25 - 50: The five-year seabirds average is lower than the median value.
  • 50: The five-year seabirds average equals the median value.
  • 50 - 75: The five-year seabirds average is higher than the median value.
  • 75 - 90: The five-year seabirds average is much higher than the median value.
  • 90 - 100: The five-year seabirds average is very high compared to the median value.

 

Data:

Data for Alaska, California Current, and the Gulf of Mexico were obtained from the regional NOAA Integrated Ecosystem Assessment Program teams that produce indicators and Ecosystem Status Report. For more information see https://www.integratedecosystemassessment.noaa.gov/. Seabird count and transect length data for the Northeast were extracted from the Atlantic Marine Assessment Program for Protected Species (AMAPPS) annual reports. Counts were summed and divided by the sum of the transect length in nautical miles. For more information see https://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/psb/AMAPPS/

 

Overfished stocks

.

time series graph of number of overfished stocks on the Alaska region, 1980-2020

Description of time series:

During the last five years the number of overfished stocks shows a significant upward trend.

 

Description of gauge:

The gauge value of 43 indicates that over the last five years, the number of overfished stocks is lower than the median value.

 

Description of Overfished stocks:

Fish play an important role in marine ecosystems, supporting the ecological structure of many marine food webs. Caught by recreational and commercial fisheries, fish support significant parts of coastal economies, and can play an important cultural role in many regions.  To understand the health of fish populations - as well as their abundance and distribution, we regularly assess fish stocks - stock assessments. Assessments let us know if a stock is experiencing overfishing or if it is overfished i.e. how much catch is sustainable while maintaining a healthy stock. And, if a stock becomes depleted, stock assessments can help determine what steps may be taken to rebuild it to sustainable levels. Understanding stock assessments helps measure how well we’re managing and recovering fish stocks over time. We present the number of overfished stocks by year in all regions.

 

Overall Scores mean the following:

High values for overfished stocks are bad, low numbers are good.

  • 0 - 10: The five-year overfished stock status average is very low compared to the median value.
  • 10 - 25: The five-year overfished stock status average is much lower than the median value.
  • 25 - 50: The five-year overfished stock status average is lower than the median value.
  • 50: The five-year overfished stock status average equals the median value.
  • 50 - 75: The five-year overfished stock status average is higher than the median value.
  • 75 - 90: The five-year overfished stock status average is much higher than the median value.
  • 90 - 100: The five-year overfished stock status average is very high compared to the median value.

 

Data:

Data were obtained (28 Aug 2019) from the NOAA Fisheries Fishery Stock Status website https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/population-assessments/fishery-stock-status-updates. Stocks that met the criteria for overfished status were summed by year for each region.

 

Threatened/ endangered marine mammals

Endangered Species Act threatened or endangered species

graph of ESA threatened species numbers for Alaska region from 1980-2020

Description of time series:

Trend analysis was not appropriate for ESA data.

 

Description of gauge:

The Gauge value of 50 indicates that over the last five years, ESA threatened or endangered marine mammals average is the median value.

 

Description of Threatened and Endangered Marine mammals:

Some marine mammals face significant threats. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) aims to conserve endangered and threatened species and the ecosystems they depend on. Under the ESA, a species is considered endangered if it is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range, or threatened if it is likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future.  We present the annual number of threatened and endangered marine mammals in all regions except the Caribbean. Data for the Southeast and Gulf of Mexico regions are combined.

 

Overall Scores mean the following:

High values of ESA threatened and endangered species are bad, low numbers are good.

  • 0 - 10: The five-year ESA threatened or endangered marine mammals average is very low compared to the median value.
  • 10 - 25: The five-year ESA threatened or endangered marine mammals is much lower than the median value.
  • 25 - 50: The five-year ESA threatened or endangered marine mammals average is lower than the median value.
  • 50: The five-year ESA threatened or endangered marine mammals average equals the median value.
  • 50 - 75: The five-year ESA threatened or endangered marine mammals average is higher than the median value.
  • 75 - 90: The five-year ESA threatened or endangered marine mammals average is much higher than the median value.
  • 90 - 100: The five-year ESA threatened or endangered marine mammals average is very high compared to the median value.

 

Data:

Summary data tables from the NOAA Fisheries Protected Resources Species Information System were obtained from the database manager 3 April 2020. The number of ESA threatened and endangered species were summed for each region by year.

Strategic/ depleted marine mammal stocks

Marine Mammal Protection Act strategic & depleted stocks

graph of Marine Mammal Protection Act strategic & depleted stocks for the Alaska region from 1980-2020

Description of time series:

Trend analysis was not appropriate for MMPA data.

 

Description of gauge:

The Gauge value of 50 indicates that over the last five years, MMPA strategic and depleted marine mammals average is the median value.

 

Description of marine mammals depleted stocks (MMPA):

A strategic stock is defined by the Marine Mammal Protection Act as a marine mammal stock—For which the level of direct human-caused mortality exceeds the potential biological removal level; Which, based on the best available scientific information, is declining and is likely to be listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act within the foreseeable future; or Which is listed as a threatened or endangered species under the ESA, or is designated as depleted under the MMPA. 

A depleted stock is defined by the MMPA as any case in which—The Secretary of Commerce, after consultation with the Marine Mammal Commission and the Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals established under MMPA title II, determines that a species or population stock is below its optimum sustainable population; a State, to which authority for the conservation and management of a species or population stock is transferred under section 109, determines that such species or stock is below its optimum sustainable population; or A species or population stock is listed as an endangered species or a threatened species under the ESA. We present the annual number of strategic and depleted marine mammals in all regions except the Caribbean. Data for the Southeast and Gulf of Mexico regions are combined. 

 

Overall Scores mean the following:

 

  • 0 - 10: The five-year MMPA strategic and depleted marine mammals average is very low compared to the median value.
  • 10 - 25: The five-year MMPA strategic and depleted marine mammals average is much lower than the median value.
  • 25 - 50: The five-year MMPA strategic and depleted marine mammals average is lower than the median value.
  • 50: The five-year MMPA strategic and depleted marine mammals average equals the median value.
  • 50 - 75: The five-year MMPA strategic and depleted marine mammals average is higher than the median value.
  • 75 - 90: The five-year MMPA strategic and depleted marine mammals average is much higher than the median value.
  • 90 - 100: The five-year MMPA strategic and depleted marine mammals average is very high compared to the median value.

 

Data:

Data methods Summary data tables from the NOAA Fisheries Protected Resources Species Information System were obtained from the database manager 3 April 2020. The number of MMPA strategic and depleted stock species were summed for each region by year. 

 

Unusual Mortality Events

significant die-offs in a marine mammal population

graph of Unusual Mortality Events for the Alaska region from 1980-2020

Description of time series:

Trend analysis was not appropriate for UME data.

 

Description of gauge:

The gauge value of 80 indicates that over the last five years, average marine mammal unusual mortality events have been much higher than average.

 

Description of Unusual Mortality events:

Marine mammals are important parts of marine ecosystems. Sometimes we observe significant die-offs in a marine mammal population - also called unusual mortality events (UMEs). A UME is defined as "a stranding that is unexpected; involves a significant die-off of any marine mammal population; and demands immediate response." UMEs are often caused by ecological factors (e.g. changes in ocean conditions or food sources), biotoxins, infectious disease, and human interactions, but in some cases the cause cannot be determined. Some unusual mortality events occur over a period of months and others last for years. Understanding and investigating marine mammal UMEs is crucial because they can be indicators of ocean health, giving insight into larger environmental issues, which may also have implications for human health. We present the number of unusual marine mammal mortality events in a given year in all the Alaska, Pacific Islands, California Current, Gulf of Mexico, Southeast, and Northeast regions.

 

Overall Scores mean the following:

High values for UME are bad, low values are good.

  • 0 - 10: The five-year UME average is very low compared to the median value.
  • 10 - 25: The five-year UME average is much lower than the median value.
  • 25 - 50: The five-year UME average is lower than the median value.
  • 50: The five-year UME average equals the median value.
  • 50 - 75: The five-year UME average is higher than the median value.
  • 75 - 90: The five-year UME average is much higher than the median value.
  • 90 - 100: The five-year UME average is very high compared to the median value.

 

Data:

Unusual mortality event (UME) data for marine mammals were accessed from the NOAA Fisheries Active and Closed Unusual Mortality Events website (https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/marine-life-distress/active-and-closed-unusual-mortality-events). A value of 1 was assigned for each UME (open and closed) reported as occurring for any portion of a given year and the values were summed by year for each region. For UMEs where the date range was not indicated, a value of 1 was applied only for the year the UME was declared.

Coastal population

.

graph of coastal population for the Alaska region from 1980-2020

Description of time series:

Alaska’s average coastal population between 2014 – 2018 was substantially above historic levels, although the recent trend is not different from historical trends.  

 

Description of gauge:

The average coastal population in Alaska between 2014 and 2018 was greater than 92% of all population levels between 1970 to 2018, again highlighting the substantial growth in the coastal population of this state.

 

Description of Coastal Population:

While marine ecosystems are important for people all across the country, they are essential for  people living in coastal communities. The population density of coastal counties is over six times greater than inland counties. In the U.S. coastal counties make up less than 10 percent of the total land area (not including Alaska), but account for 39 percent of the total population. From 1970 to 2010, the population of these counties increased by almost 40% and are projected to increase by over 10 million people or 8+% into the 2020s. 

 

The population density of an area is an important factor for economic planning, emergency preparedness, understanding environmental impacts, resource demand, and many other reasons. Thus, this indicator is important to track. We present the number of residents within all regions.

 

Extreme Gauge values:

A value of zero on the gauge means that the average coastal population over the last 5 years of data was below any annual population level up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average over that same period was above any annual population level up until that point.

 

Data:

Coastal population data was retrieved from the Census Bureau’s county population totals, filtered to present coastal counties using the Census Bureau’s list of coastal counties within each state. Coastal county populations were then summed within each region for reporting purposes.

 

 

Coastal tourism

graph of coastal GDP for the Alaska region from 1980-2020

Description of time series:

The growth in the value of Alaska’s coastal tourism is relatively steady, with no clear trend and the last 5 years of growth not different from historical patterns.  

 

Description of gauge:

The value of Alaska’s coastal tourism grew at a rate of 0.1% between 2015-2016, less than the rest of the regional economy’s growth of 8.4%, but more than other ocean sectors which saw a 14% decline over that same time period.

 

Description of Coastal Tourism:

Coastal tourism Gross Domestic Product is the total measure (in billions of dollars) of goods and services provided from tourism along the coast. U.S. coasts are host to a multitude of travel, tourism, and recreation activities. These provide social and economic benefits as well as impact the environment. As more and more communities turn to tourism for economic development, it becomes crucial to develop a sustainable tourism industry that is good for communities, the environment, and society more broadly. To accomplish this, we need data on the social and economic impacts of recreation and tourism, and its impacts on natural resources. We present the annual total change (in billions of dollars) of goods and services provided from tourism in the Gulf of Mexico, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Pacific Islands, Southeast, and California Current regions.

 

Extreme Gauge values:

A value of zero on the gauge means that the average coastal tourism over the last 5 years of data was below any annual coastal tourism level up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average over that same period was above any annual coastal tourism level up until that point.

 

Data:

Coastal Tourism GDP data was taken from NOAA’s Office of Coastal Management Economics National Ocean Watch custom report building tool, with contextual data taken from the 2019 NOAA Report on the U.S. Ocean and Great Lakes Economy: Regional and State Profiles. Growth was estimated by subtracting the previous year’s Coastal Tourism GDP from the current year’s Coastal Tourism GDP, then dividing by the previous year’s Coastal Tourism GDP to present a percentage. All data was deflated to 2012 constant dollars using the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ chained dollar methodology.

 

Coastal employment

graph of coastal employment for the Alaska region from 1980-2020

Description of time series:

Alaska’s coastal employment has been relatively steady between 2014 - 2018, with no clear trend and no substantial difference from historical patterns.  

 

Description of gauge:

The 2014 – 2018 average annual employment level in Alaska is greater than 85% of all employment levels between 1990 and 2018 in that state, indicating that employment levels over that period were high compared to historical levels.

 

Description of Coastal Employment:

Coastal employment numbers were downloaded from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ quarterly census of employment and wages, filtered to present only coastal county values using the Census Bureau’s list of coastal counties within each state. Of note is that these data fail to include self-employed individuals. Coastal county employment numbers were then summed within each region for reporting purposes.

 

Extreme Gauge values:

A value of zero on the gauge means that the average coastal employment level over the last 5 years of data was below any annual employment level up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average over that same period was above any annual employment level up until that point.

Data:

Coastal employment numbers were downloaded from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ quarterly census of employment and wages, filtered to present only coastal county values using the Census Bureau’s list of coastal counties within each state. Of note is that these data fail to include self-employed individuals. Coastal county employment numbers were then summed within each region for reporting purposes.

 

Commercial fishery landings

.

graph of commercial fishery landings for the Alaska region from 1980-2020

Description of time series:

Between 2013 and 2017, commercial landings from Alaska are substantially above historic levels, although there is no recent trend apparent.  

 

Description of gauge:

Between 2013 and 2017, Alaska’s average commercial landings were greater than 97% of all landings from 1950 to 2017, again highlighting the substantial growth in landings produced over historical periods.

 

Description of Commercial Fishing (Landings and Revenue):

Commercial landings are the weight of, or revenue from, fish that are caught, brought to shore, processed, and sold for profit. It does not include sport or subsistence (to feed themselves) fishermen or for-hire sector, which earns its revenue from selling recreational fishing trips to saltwater anglers. 

 

Commercial landings make up a major part of coastal economies. U.S. commercial fisheries are among the world’s largest and most sustainable; producing seafood, fish meal, vitamin supplements, and a host of other products for both domestic and international consumers. 

 

The weight (tonnage), and revenue from the sale of commercial landings provides data on the ability of marine ecosystems to continue to supply these important products. 

 

Extreme Gauge values:

A value of zero on the gauge means that the average revenue or landings over the last 5 years of data was below any annual value up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average value over that same period was above any annual value up until that point.

Data:

Commercial landings and gross revenue were downloaded from the National Marine Fisheries Service’s annual commercial fisheries landings query tool which can be found at https://foss.nmfs.noaa.gov/apexfoss/f?p=215:200::::::. State pounds landed and revenue generated were aggregated to the appropriate region, and all revenue data was deflated to 2017 constant dollars using the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Consumer Price Index (series CUUR0000SA0).

 

Commercial fishery revenue

.

graph of commercial fishing revenue for the Alaska region from 1980-2020

Description of time series:

Commercial revenue from Alaska between 2013 – 2017 were not different than historical patterns, and there is no trend in values.  Given that landings were at historically high levels for that same period, this suggests that the price per pound of fish is substantially lower than historical levels.  

 

Description of gauge:

Between 2013 and 2017, Alaska’s average annual commercial revenue was greater than 72% of all annual revenue from 1950 to 2017.

 

Description of Commercial Fishing (Landings and Revenue):

Commercial landings are the weight of, or revenue from, fish that are caught, brought to shore, processed, and sold for profit. It does not include sport or subsistence (to feed themselves) fishermen or for-hire sector, which earns its revenue from selling recreational fishing trips to saltwater anglers. 

 

Commercial landings make up a major part of coastal economies. U.S. commercial fisheries are among the world’s largest and most sustainable; producing seafood, fish meal, vitamin supplements, and a host of other products for both domestic and international consumers. 

 

The weight (tonnage), and revenue from the sale of commercial landings provides data on the ability of marine ecosystems to continue to supply these important products. 

 

Extreme Gauge values:

A value of zero on the gauge means that the average revenue or landings over the last 5 years of data was below any annual value up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average value over that same period was above any annual value up until that point.

Data:

Commercial landings and gross revenue were downloaded from the National Marine Fisheries Service’s annual commercial fisheries landings query tool which can be found at https://foss.nmfs.noaa.gov/apexfoss/f?p=215:200::::::. State pounds landed and revenue generated were aggregated to the appropriate region, and all revenue data was deflated to 2017 constant dollars using the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Consumer Price Index (series CUUR0000SA0).

 

Recreational fishing effort

graph of recreational fishing effort for the Alaska region from 1980-2020

Description of time series:

Between 2013 and 2018, recreational fishing effort from Alaska is around historic levels. There is a significant downward trend apparent.  

 

Description of gauge:

Between 2013 and 2018, Alaska’s average recreational fishing effort was greater than 52% of all recreational fishing effort from 2001 to 2018.

 

Description of Recreational Fishing (Effort and Harvest):

U.S. saltwater recreational fishing is an important source of seafood, jobs, and recreation for millions of anglers and for-hire recreational businesses. Recreational fishing effort is measured as “Angler Trips”, which is the number of recreational fishing trips people go on. Recreational fishing harvest is the number of fish caught and brought to shore on recreational fishing trips. 

Recreational effort and harvest help us understand how recreational opportunities and seafood derived from our marine environment is changing over time. Fisheries managers use this data to set annual catch limits and fishing regulations, including season lengths, size, and daily catch limits. We present the total number of fish caught and angler trips annually for all marine fish in all regions. 

 

Extreme Gauge values:

A value of zero on the gauge means that the average effort or harvest over the last 5 years of data was below any annual value up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average value over that same period was above any annual value up until that point.

Data:

Recreational harvest and effort data pulled from National Summary Query at https://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/recreational-fisheries/data-and-documentation/queries/index Units of data are in Effort in Angler Days and Harvest in numbers of fish.

 

Recreational fishing harvest

graph of recreational fishing harvest for the Alaska region from 1980-2020

Description of time series:

Between 2013 and 2018, recreational harvest from Alaska are around historic levels. There is a significant upward trend apparent.  

 

Description of gauge:

Between 2013 and 2018, Alaska’s average recreational harvest were greater than 65% of all harvest from 1982 to 2018.

 

Description of Recreational Fishing (Effort and Harvest):

U.S. saltwater recreational fishing is an important source of seafood, jobs, and recreation for millions of anglers and for-hire recreational businesses. Recreational fishing effort is measured as “Angler Trips”, which is the number of recreational fishing trips people go on. Recreational fishing harvest is the number of fish caught and brought to shore on recreational fishing trips. 

Recreational effort and harvest help us understand how recreational opportunities and seafood derived from our marine environment is changing over time. Fisheries managers use this data to set annual catch limits and fishing regulations, including season lengths, size, and daily catch limits. We present the total number of fish caught and angler trips annually for all marine fish in all regions. 

 

Extreme Gauge values:

A value of zero on the gauge means that the average effort or harvest over the last 5 years of data was below any annual value up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average value over that same period was above any annual value up until that point.

Data:

Recreational harvest and effort data pulled from National Summary Query at https://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/recreational-fisheries/data-and-documentation/queries/index Units of data are in Effort in Angler Days and Harvest in numbers of fish. 

 

 

Commercial fishing engagement

Graph of commercial fishing engagement index for the Alaska region from 2009-2016

Description of time series:

There isn't enough data to do trend analysis.

 

 Description of gauge:

The 2012 – 2016 average percentage of commercially engaged communities in Alaska is greater than 62% of all engagement levels between 2009 and 2016 in that state, indicating that recent engagement levels are similar to median historical levels.

 

Description of Fishing Engagement:

Recreational and commercial fishing engagement is measured by the presence of fishing activity in coastal communities. The commercial engagement index is measured through permits, fish dealers, and vessel landings.  The data for recreational engagement indicators varies by state. A high rank within these indicates more engagement in fisheries. For details on both data sources and indicator development, please see https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/socioeconomics/social-indicators-fishing-communities-0.

NOAA Monitors recreational and commercial fishing engagement to better understand the social and economic impacts of fishing policies and regulations on our nation’s vital fishing communities. This and other social indicators help assess a coastal community’s resilience. NOAA works with state and local partners to monitor these indicators. We present data from the Northeast, Southeast, Gulf of Mexico, California Current, Alaska, and Pacific Island regions.

 

Extreme Gauge values:

A value of zero on the gauge means that the average percentage of communities engaged in commercial or recreational fishing over the last 5 years of data was below any annual engagement level up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average over that same period was above any engagement level up until that point.

 

Data:

Recreational and Commercial fishing engagement data is from the National Marine Fisheries Service’s social indicator data portal:https://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/data-and-tools/social-indicators/ The percentage of all communities in each region classified as medium, medium high, or highly engaged is presented for both recreational and commercial fishing.

 

 

Recreational fishing engagement

Graph of recreational fishing engagement index for the Alaska region from 2009-2016

Description of time series:

There isn't enough data to do trend analysis. The Alaska recreational engagement index is measured using the number of charter and sportfishing guide businesses, and sportfishing and guide licenses.

 

 Description of gauge:

The 2012 – 2016 average percentage of recreationally engaged communities in Alaska is greater than 38% of engagement levels between 2009 and 2016 in that state, indicating that recent engagement levels are similar to the median historical level.

 

Description of Fishing Engagement:

Recreational and commercial fishing engagement is measured by the presence of fishing activity in coastal communities. The commercial engagement index is measured through permits, fish dealers, and vessel landings.  The data for recreational engagement indicators varies by state. A high rank within these indicates more engagement in fisheries. For details on both data sources and indicator development, please see https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/socioeconomics/social-indicators-fishing-communities-0.

NOAA Monitors recreational and commercial fishing engagement to better understand the social and economic impacts of fishing policies and regulations on our nation’s vital fishing communities. This and other social indicators help assess a coastal community’s resilience. NOAA works with state and local partners to monitor these indicators. We present data from the Northeast, Southeast, Gulf of Mexico, California Current, Alaska, and Pacific Island regions.

 

Extreme Gauge values:

A value of zero on the gauge means that the average percentage of communities engaged in commercial or recreational fishing over the last 5 years of data was below any annual engagement level up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average over that same period was above any engagement level up until that point.

 

Data:

Recreational and Commercial fishing engagement data is from the National Marine Fisheries Service’s social indicator data portal:https://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/data-and-tools/social-indicators/ The percentage of all communities in each region classified as medium, medium high, or highly engaged is presented for both recreational and commercial fishing.

 

Billion-dollar disasters

graph of the number of billion-dollar weather disasters in the Alaska region from 1980-2019

Interpretation of time series:

Billion dollar disasters in Alaska only began to occur after 2000, but the last 5 years of data indicates the number of storms is not substantially different from historical patterns of events, and there is no recent trend in the number of disasters.  

 

Interpretation of gauge:

The average number of billion dollar disasters in Alaska over the last 5 years of data is higher than 82 percent of all annual disaster frequencies.

 

Description of billion dollar disasters:

In the United States the number of weather and climate-related disasters exceeding 1 billion dollars has been increasing since 1980. These events have significant impacts to coastal economies and communities. The Billion Dollar Disaster indicator provides information on the frequency and the total estimated costs of major weather and climate events that occur in the United States. This indicator compiles the annual number of weather and climate-related disasters across seven event types. Events are included if they are estimated to cause more than one billion U.S. dollars in direct losses. The cost estimates of these events are adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and are based on costs documented in several Federal and private-sector databases. We Present the total annual number of disaster events for all regions.

 

Extreme Gauge values

A value of zero on the gauge means that the average number of disasters over the last 5 years of data was below any annual level up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average over that same period was above any annual number of disasters up until that point. 

 

 

Source and analysis of data:

Billion dollar disaster event frequency data are taken from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. The number of disasters within each region were summed for every year of available data. Although the number is the count of unique disaster events within a region, the same disaster can impact multiple regions, meaning a sum across regions will overestimate the unique number of disasters.

 

Resources

Arctic Report Card

Tracking recent environmental changes relative to historical records.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Logo

Alaska Ecosystem Status Reports

Ecosystem Status Reports are produced annually to compile and summarize information about the status of the Alaska marine ecosystems for the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, the scientific community and the public. 

Distributed Biological Observatory

The “Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO)” is envisioned as a change detection array along a latitudinal gradient extending from the northern Bering Sea to the Barrow Arc [map of sites and example of change in sea ice and Chl-a]. 

International Arctic Systems for Observing the Atmosphere

The mission of the IASOA is to advance and coordinate research objectives from independent pan-Arctic atmospheric observatories. 

National Snow and Ice data

The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) supports research into our world’s frozen realms: the snow, ice, glaciers, frozen ground, and climate interactions that make up Earth’s cryosphere. 

Satellite Observations of Arctic Change

The purpose of this site is to expose NASA satellite data and research on Arctic change, in the form of maps that illustrate the changes taking place in the Arctic over time. 

Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS) Ocean Data Explorer

This portal contains scientific and management information including real-time sensor feeds, operational oceanographic and atmospheric models, satellite observations and GIS data sets that describe the biological, chemical and physical characteristics of Alaska and its surrounding waters. 

AOOS Data Resources

This statewide portal provides access to all of AOOS’ public data, allowing users to visualize and integrate different types of data from many sources.  

EcoFOCI

EcoFOCI is a joint research program between the Alaska Fisheries Science Center (NOAA/ NMFS/ AFSC) and the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (NOAA/ OAR/ PMEL). We study the ecosystems of the North Pacific Ocean, Bering Sea and U.S. Arctic to improve understanding of ecosystem dynamics and we apply that understanding to the management of living marine resources. EcoFOCI scientists integrate field, laboratory and modeling studies to determine how varying biological and physical factors influence large marine ecosystems within Alaskan waters.

Arctic Marine Biodiveristy Observation Network

AMBON involves an experienced team of multi-institutional and multi-sector partners already active in a variety of Arctic biodiversity observing programs, and we work with the Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS) to coordinate data streams from these different programs into one observation network. This partnership within AMBON will allow us to better coordinate, sustain, and synthesize all efforts, and make data available to a broad audience of users and stakeholders, from local to pan-Arctic to global. Effective data management, integration and dissemination will provide critical information on the status of Arctic ecosystem health and resilience to decision makers and local, regional and global communities.

Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON)

The purpose of the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) is to support and strengthen the development of multinational engagement for sustained and coordinated pan-Arctic observing and data sharing systems. SAON was initiated by the Arctic Council and the International Arctic Science Committee, and was established by the 2011 Ministerial Meeting in Nuuk.

The SAON inventory builds on a survey circulated in the community at the inception of the activity. This database is continously updated and maintained, and contains projects, activities, networks and programmes related to environmental observation in the circum-polar Arctic.

NOAA Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA): Regional Portals

The Environmental Response Management Application is a web-based Geographic Information System (GIS) tool that assists emergency responders and environmental resource managers in dealing with incidents that may adversely impact the environment. 

U.S. Global Change Research Program: Arctic Sea Ice Extent

The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is a federal program mandated by Congress to coordinate federal research and investments in understanding the forces shaping the global environment, both human and natural, and their impacts on society. USGCRP facilitates collaboration and cooperation across its 13 federal member agencies to advance understanding of the changing Earth system and maximize efficiencies in federal global change research.

Marine Biodiversity Observation Network - Arctic Projects

Unprecedented changes are occurring in the Arctic and affect all components of Arctic marine ecosystems, including humans. However, consistent, long-term observations for planning and adaptation are currently lacking in the Arctic Ocean. AMBON is working towards a sustainable approach to biodiversity observing in the Chukchi Sea as one component of the development of a national MBON. Grounded in the concept that sustained biodiversity across ecosystem components is critical for maintaining healthy ecosystem functions, this project is building on lessons learned from the first 5-year AMBON demonstration project.