Brad deYoung (Memorial University)
Abstract. Oceanic regime shifts are the result of sudden, dramatic and persistent changes in the state of an ocean ecosystem. Except in some exceptional circumstances, such shifts are difficult to identify even after they have taken place. I will review some examples to identify key characteristics of regime shifts and outline a few different types of oceanic regime shifts. I will talk about how the characteristics of such shifts might change in the future, given climate change, in particular ocean acidification. Will they become more frequent or more significant? Is there any likelihood that we will be able to detect them earlier? The scale of anthropogenic ocean impacts is leading us ever deeper more directly into some form of ecosystem management. The possible management responses to an oceanic regime shift depend on the characteristics of the shift and when it is detected. Given an increase in the likelihood of regime shifts in the coming decades, as I will argue, what are the ocean environmental policies that we can or should consider to limit their frequency, scale or impact.