Regime Shifts in the Atmosphere and Their Relationship to Abrupt Ocean Changes

  • Alfred M. PowellJrEmail author
  • Jianjun Xu
  • Ming Chen
Conference paper
Part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security book series (NAPSC)


The ocean community has monitored abrupt climate changes or regime shifts in various fish species around the Pacific and Atlantic basins via fish stock and fish catch statistics. These regime shifts occur over relatively short intervals of 1–3 years, and appear to represent basin wide as well as ecosystem level changes that can last for many years. While regime shifts have been observed in the ocean through changes in physical and biological responses, their primary source has not been attributed to either atmospheric or oceanic forcing. Research results are discussed that make the case for the atmosphere being a key forcing for the abrupt regime shift changes. Also, a set of the independently identified ocean regime shifts are linked with abrupt changes in the atmosphere.


Abrupt ocean change Fish stock El Nino/La Nina Global waves 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NOAA/NESDIS/STARWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.IM Systems Group IncWashingtonUSA

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