Newly discovered West Coast arrhythmias cause

is year may be different, however, because unlike earlier years, the living habitat was also suffocated. This year there was no home for them to return to."

Predicting the Unpredictable

"Climate change is upon us, there is no doubt about that, but what we don't know is exactly how it is going to affect upwelling," says Peterson. "What's catching us by surprise is the rate at which warming is hitting us. And, of course, how fast the ocean has changed -- that is what amazes me."

The scientists hope that by better understanding the interplay of warming, winds, and storms with ocean currents and biological productivity, they will be able to help managers and fishermen plan for changing ecosystems. Predicting shifts in ocean ecosystems requires sustained observations. "We are poised to deploy a fleet of underwater robotic sensors to enable better understanding and useful predictions," says Barth. If scientists can predict the impact of dead zones or years of low salmon returns, for example, managers can better adjust fishing quotas or regulations accordingly and fishermen can modify where and when they fish.

Scientists hope to get ahead of the curve on these surprises, but many mysteries remain. Despite intense hypoxic zones, for example, Dungeness crab catches in Oregon have been high in the last few years. In California, scientists are trying to understand why rockfish populations appear to be congregating in the northern and southern ends of their ranges. Future changes in the timing of upwelling may favor particular seabird or salmon species, changing the make up of animals along the coast. And animals that live their adult lives close to shore, like mussels and barnacles, are likely to react differently than fish that live further offshore.

"We need to think differently about using and managing these ecosystems," adds Lubchenco. "We should be expecting more surprises. Climate models predict increasing uncert

Contact: Jessica Brown

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