Integrating human dimensions in decadal-scale prediction for marine social–ecological systems: lighting the grey zone

Melbourne-Thomas, Jess and Tommasi, Desiree and Gehlen, Marion and Murphy, Eugene J. and Beckensteiner, Jennifer and Bravo, Francisco and Eddy, Tyler and Fischer, Mibu and Fulton, Elizabeth and Gogina, Mayya and Hofmann, Eileen and Ito, Maysa and Mynott, Sara and Ortega-Cisneros, Kelly and Osiecka, Anna N. and Payne, Mark R. and Saldívar-Lucio, Romeo and Scherrer, Kim J. N. (2022) Integrating human dimensions in decadal-scale prediction for marine social–ecological systems: lighting the grey zone. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 80 (1).

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The dynamics of marine systems at decadal scales are notoriously hard to predict—hence references to this timescale as the “grey zone” for ocean prediction. Nevertheless, decadal-scale prediction is a rapidly developing field with an increasing number of applications to help guide ocean stewardship and sustainable use of marine environments. Such predictions can provide industry and managers with information more suited to support planning and management over strategic timeframes, as compared to seasonal forecasts or long-term (century-scale) predictions. The most significant advances in capability for decadal-scale prediction over recent years have been for ocean physics and biogeochemistry, with some notable advances in ecological prediction skill. In this paper, we argue that the process of “lighting the grey zone” by providing improved predictions at decadal scales should also focus on including human dimensions in prediction systems to better meet the needs and priorities of end users. Our paper reviews information needs for decision-making at decadal scales and assesses current capabilities for meeting these needs.We identify key gaps in current capabilities, including the particular challenge of integrating human elements into decadal prediction systems. We then suggest approaches for overcoming these challenges and gaps, highlighting the important role of co-production of tools and scenarios, to build trust and ensure uptakewith end users of decadal prediction systems.We also highlight opportunities for combining narratives and quantitative predictions to better incorporate the human dimension in future efforts to light the grey zone of decadal-scale prediction.

Item Type: Article
Item ID: 16436
Keywords: decadal prediction, decision support tools, grey zone, human dimensions, Indigenous science, marine social–ecological systems.
Department(s): Marine Institute > Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research
Marine Institute
Date: 24 December 2022
Date Type: Publication
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

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