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Ecosystem Forecasting Testbed David J. Schwab NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory.

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Presentation on theme: "Ecosystem Forecasting Testbed David J. Schwab NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ecosystem Forecasting Testbed David J. Schwab NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory

2 Ecological Modeling and Forecasting Purpose is to develop, test, and implement ecological models on a variety of space and time scales to predict the impacts of physical, chemical, biological, and human induced change on ecosystems. NOAA Science Workshop 2010 - Overarching Grand Challenge: Develop and apply holistic, integrated Earth system approaches to understand the processes that connect changes in the atmosphere, ocean, space, land surface, and cryosphere with ecosystems, organisms and humans over different scales.


4 Regional Ecological Forecast System Current Capabilties Observation –Extensive observation systems and monitoring programs in the Great Lakes, connecting channels, and tributaries Modeling Hydrodynamic, biogeochemical and biology models (transport, nutrients, contaminants, populations, vulnerability) Water circulation models for the lakes and connecting channels Species population dynamics and disease models Research –Quasi-operational ecological forecasting and assessment of ecosystem indicators backed by NOAA infrastructure and regional partnerships

5 Regional Ecological Forecast System Products: –Warnings, watches, advisories, and information bulletins –Scenarios and outlooks Purpose –Scaleable to inform decisions for local to regional management –Build on operational weather and water forecast infrastructure and ecosystem research –Transition research results to applications and drive research from operational feedback Comprehensive and integrated environmental forecast products & decision support services –Effective, reliable and quality controlled –Regional mitigation, adaptation, restoration and recovery –Collaborative and community-based research, operations, and sustainment

6 Observations Environmental Modeling Research Ecological Forecasting Products for Users and Stakeholders

7 Tools Observations –Continuum over spatial and temporal scales Atmospheric-Ocean, Open-lake, Near-shore River flow and flux, beaches and wetlands, watersheds Land-surface biophysics Weather and climate variables Biogeochemistry and multiple species –In situ, remote sampling, and process studies. Models –Heuristic and numerical –Regional circulation models –Linked physical, biogeochemical, and ecosystem Decision Support Services –Forecasts and Warnings, Bulletins and Outlooks –Forecast probabilities and uncertainties –Long-term Scenarios and Assessments –Decision support and adaptive tools, geospatial and interactive Maps

8 Great Lakes Forecasting Examples Beach/Water Quality –Daily, Weekly (3-7-day), Seasonal –Outlooks and Lead times Living Resource Distribution –Fish Recruitment Annual biomass, including harvests and other related mortality/disease Dissolved Oxygen [DO] Predictions –Synoptic to seasonal (ECOFORE) Harmful Algal Bloom (Chlorophyll) –Initiation and land fall at all time scales –Drinking water and recreational water use

9 Beach/Water Quality Monitoring & Forecast System Issue: Water quality is at risk due to microbial and chemical contamination and a threat to human and ecosystem health and economics Solution: Water (beach) quality guidance Operational Concept: Routinely generate forecasts and warnings daily, weekly, seasonal (including lead times) using hydrologic, waves, precipitation, circulation, transport turbidity, nutrients, waste, watershed and land models Collaborators: Include state and local managers, scientists, health workers, and regulators Output Product: Maps and decision support tools showing water (beach) quality index, bacterial content, water temperature, beach closures, water turbidity, categorical risk assessment Dissemination: Online and Media Outcome: Actions taken to improve Bay and public health, clean water, and promote improved land and resource management

10 Living Resource Distribution/Fish Recruitment Forecasts Issue: Fisheries managers require forecasts of recruitment to effectively manage the fishery on a year to year basis. Solution: Annual forecast of yellow perch recruitment. Operational Concept: Routinely generate forecasts and outlooks using spring river discharge information from observations and watershed and hydrology models. Collaborators: Include state managers, provincial mangers (Ontario, Canada), scientists, and fishers. Output Product: Abundance of yellow perch two years into the future. Dissemination: Online and Media Outcome: Management actions taken to determine annual commercial harvest and recreational fishing regulations prior to the fishing season. Western Lake Erie showing Maumee River plume (discharge) Detroit R. Plume Maumee R. Plume NDetroit R. Maumee R. Model of perch survival based on discharge area

11 Dissolved Oxygen [DO] Monitoring & Forecast System Issue: Some areas of the Lake Erie have low oxygen levels threatening survival of species. Solution: Predictions and forecasts of hypoxia, including uncertainty related to nutrient loading and river flow Operational Concept: Routinely generate predictions and forecasts on synoptic to seasonal scales using data from hydrodynamic, circulation, watershed, atmospheric and water quality models Collaborators: Include state managers, scientists and fishers Output Product: Maps and decision support tools showing concentration and dead zones, habitat suitability, and marine assessments Dissemination: Online and Media Outcome: Regional actions taken to promote restoration and recovery

12 Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring & Forecast System Issue: HABs threaten human health and natural resources Solution: Predict nature, extent, development and movement of HABs Operational Concept: Routinely generate forecasts using data from hydrodynamic computer models and NOAA satellites. Collaborators: Include state natural resource partners Output Product: Near-real time maps showing when and where to expect initiation and landfall Dissemination: Online and Media Outcome: Actions taken to monitor and mitigate HAB effects. MODIS image of western Lake Erie 9/3/11 Prediction from Experimental Lake Erie Harmful Algal Bloom Bulletin 8/25/11

13 Ecological Forecasting System Transition to Operations User Requirements State, Federal, other management agencies (State Depts. of Health, Fisheries; Nat'l Marine Sanctuaries, Protected Species) Develop concepts, models, sensors Research (separate program) OperationsPre-operationsTransition (Development) Validation Product types, Training matl, Analysts Data integration, Data access Forecast development Transfer models Forecasts (bulletins), Respond to users, Access and run data sets, User interaction Forecast evaluation, Product usefulness, Product effectiveness, Annual User feedback Various researchers (NOAA, NASA, NSF) Technical Oversight Group (NOAA) Researchers NOAA and State partners NOAA and State partners NOAA and Technical Oversight Group Key Users Group Key Users Groups

14 Next Steps Formally Establish Ecosystem Modeling Testbed –Extend multi-agency, academic, and regional participation –Engage with user community in developing forecast and management framework –Strengthen regional observation and data systems Deliver operational forecast products and tools –Integration of a suite of hydrodynamic and biological models –Forecast products for living resource distributions, hypoxic conditions, water quality, beach closures, algal blooms and pathogens

15 Unresolved Questions Regional or national? Academic/Federal mix? Research to operations mix? Product dissemination mechanisms?

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