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2014 - 2016 Pacific Anomalies Science and Technology

January 20-21, 2016

University of Washington Campus

Seattle, Washington

The unusual ocean weather and climate patterns observed in 2014 across the North Pacific basin, earning the nickname the "Blob", persisted into 2016 and have been accompanied by a strong El Niño. The extreme conditions in physical and biogeochemical parameters appear to be impacting the pelagic ecosystem, including fisheries. Two workshops were designed to understand the timing, scale, and drivers of these anomalous oceanographic conditions in the North Pacific, with the intent of maximizing our global and coastal ocean observing systems to deliver information to meet societal needs.

The second Pacific Anomalies Workshop was held on the University of Washington campus on 20-21 January 2016 and was aimed to improve our understanding of how these significant oceanographic variations arose, their impact on biology, and ways in which we can potentially improve predictive capabilities. The workshop focused on three areas:

  1. Atmosphere-ocean interactions
  2. Open ocean-coastal interactions
  3. Ecosystem responses



Morning Session

Afternoon Session 1

Afternoon Session 2





Alfonso Hernández-Ríos - Reproductive success of seabird species on Baja California Pacific islands and its relationship with environmental anomaliesPDF5.3 MB
Christopher Krembs - How did the east-pacific temperature anomaly affect water quality trends in the urban fjord, Puget SoundPDF757 KB
Ian Miller - Characteristics of nearshore bottom water temperature anomalies in the Strait of Juan de Fuca in 2013 and 2014PDF907 KB
Jaime Jahncke - North Central California ecosystem status update for 2014-2015PDF408 KB
Jaime Jahncke - Farallon Island wildlife status update for 2014-2015PDF792 KB
Jennifer Jackson - Physcial, biological, and chemical observations of the "Blob" on the British Columbia central coastPDF5.4 MB
Jim Johnstone - The role of the atmosphere in northeast Pacific warming: Century-long trends and recent anomalies PDF214 KB
Joe Needoba - Observations of biogeochemical conditions in the Columbia River estuary associated with the 2014-2015 North Pacific temperature anomalyPDF4.9 MB
John Farrara - The anomalous 2014 warming of the California coastal ocean and San Francisco Bay: Observations and model simulationsPDF2.9 MB
John Mickett - The response of Puget Sound to the 2014–2015 North Pacific warm anomalyPDF13 MB
Katherine Zaba - Glider Observations of the 2014–2015 Warming Anomaly in the Southern California Current SystemPDF8.7 MB
Kirsten Lindquist - Mortality anomalies in the northern and central California ecosystem, 2014-2015PDF1 MB
Kris Holderied - Oceanographic and ecosystem response to the 2013-2015 Pacific warm anomaly in Kachemak Bay AlaskaPDF1 MB
Laura Lilly - Tracking 2014-15 sea surface temperature anomalies using Coastal Data Information Program (CDIP) nearshore buoysPDF1.3 MB
Melissa Carter - Major decline in coastal phytoplankton population and species diversity in the Southern California Bight during anomalous warm conditions of 2014-2015PDF4.8 MB
Nathan Mantua - Warm events in the California Current: El Niño or notPDF4 MB
Parker MacCready - Effect of the "Blob" on shelf water properties in the NE PacificPDF2.3 MB
Richard Dewey - Extraordinarily warm northeast Pacific surface waters: 2013-2015 observationsPDF2.2 MB
Richard Dugdale - Effects of changing coastal conditions in 2014 on nutrients and productivity in the northern California upwelling ecosystemPDF196 KB
Richard Feely - Anomalously high surface water fCO2 values in the 2014-15 NE Pacific warm water "Blob"PDF890 KB
Rob Campbell - Effects of the 2013-2015 warm anomaly in Prince William Sound, AlaskaPDF4.1 MB
Seth Danielson - 1970 to 2015 thermal and haline anomalies on the northern Gulf of Alaska continental shelfPDF16 MB
Sonia Batten - The effects of the anomalous warming on lower trophic levels in the NE Pacific, from Continuous Plankton Recorder samplingPDF1.4 MB
Sue Chen - AXBT observation of upper-ocean temperature during CalWater2PDF1.3 KB
Ted Strub - Tropical Connections to the Eastern Pacific Warm AnomaliesPDF4.3 MB
Toby Garfield - NE Pacific Ocean variability observed with satellite imagery, numeric models and large-scale observationsPDF2.3 MB
Tom Bell - Decreases in standing biomass and physiological state of giant kelp canopy during the 2014 – 2015 warming event in the Santa Barbara ChannelPDF7.3 MB
Tyler MacCready - "Blob" tracking with robotic swarmsPDF13 MB

Observing and Model Asset Inventories



This workshop is sponsored by U.S. IOOS, NOAA OAR Ocean Climate Observation Program, NOAA Western Regional Team, Washington Sea Grant, California Sea Grant, University of Washington College of the Environment, Applied Physics Laboratory - University of Washington, and the Joint Institute for the Study of Atmosphere and Ocean.

Regional Coastal Observing Systems



Central and Northern California

Great Lakes

Gulf of Mexico

Pacific Islands


Northeast Atlantic

Pacific Northwest

Southern California

Southeast Atlantic