Critical Constraints on Future Projections of Marine Systems

01.10 - 05.10.2017  
Woods Hole, USA
Contact person:
Lisa Maddison, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The "Critical Constraints on Future Projections of Marine Systems” workshop will be held from 1-5 October 2017 in Woods Hole, USA.


Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole, MA, USA


This is one of three workshops that will run concurrently, but also interact with joint plenary and poster sessions, at IMBeR IMBIZO 5.

The number of workshop participants is limited to about 40-50 people, selected on the relevance of the abstracts that they submit.

Timescales covered: Holocene and Anthropocene.


Assessing uncertainties to improve scenarios, predictions and projections of ocean-human systems, using historical information and paleo reconstructions to critically test biogeochemical and ecosystem models, calibrate model sensitivity, and identify missing processes.


The IMBeR IMBIZO (Zulu word for ‘a gathering’) series is designed to address current issues in marine science with the goal of providing syntheses and directions for future research efforts. Grand Challenge II from IMBeR´s new Science Plan: developing scenarios and projections of marine and human systems, provides the focus for this workshop, which is one of three planned for IMBIZO 5.

Knowledge gaps and uncertainties inherent in studies of change make the use of scenarios from models a promising approach to explore drivers, attribution, and the consequences of and potential responses to change. Uncertainties associated with projections of marine ecosystems and socio-economic impacts are largely unassessed. Uncertainties arise due to limited system knowledge, the representation systems and processes, and inadequate knowledge of important drivers of change and key feedbacks.

Approaches for improving scenarios, predictions and projections of ocean-human systems, and quantification of uncertainties will be considered. The workshop will assess uncertainties, their effect on scenario realism and impacts on projections. Reconstructions of past variability in marine ecosystems, both natural and human-caused, will be discussed as a means to test model skill and potentially identify important unresolved processes. The workshop will explore process uncertainties associated with potential drivers, such as decadal climate variability,controls on the demand for seafood, changes in fishing technology, and determinants of the success of fisheries regulation. Also, uncertainty in the data used to develop and evaluate scenarios and projections and potential effects on outcomes.

The workshop will bring together natural and social scientists from a variety disciplines to identify and discuss the most important aspects of uncertainty, and explore the most useful constraints on future projections. This includes improving ecosystem models for scenario testing and evaluation, and considerations of maintenance of biodiversity and direct anthropogenic drivers such as fishing. Potential drivers that are currently not considered, or are not adequately represented. Attention will be given to the development of fisheries scenarios and how to interface these with climate scenarios, with corresponding estimates and evaluations of uncertainties. Also approaches for model inter-comparisons, the role of natural variability, and developing emergent constraints from past observations (e.g., contemporary variability or trends, reconstructed changes in fish biomass from sedimentary fish scale records) and historical hind-casts.


Abstract deadline is 15 June.

Submit here:

Important dates

15 June: Abstract submission deadline.

15 July: Financial support application deadline.

15 September: Payment deadline.

Further information

Access the workshop website here:

Access the IMBeR IMBIZO 5 website here: