WGPME Collaboration with IGMETS

Luis Valdes, "father" of the successful Zooplankton Status Report series which inspired our own Phytoplankton & Microbial Plankton Status Report, has initiated an IOC-UNESCO effort to create a global version of this report series.  This new effort will also focus on "marine ecological time series", including both plankton and biogeochemical ranging from nutrient and carbon elements through bacteria, microplankton, phytoplankton, microzooplankton, and zooplankton.  Luis asked Todd O'Brien to co-lead this new effort, and the International Group for Marine Ecological Time Series (IGMETS, http://IGMETS.net) was formed.

WGPME time series data holders are invited to participate in this IGMETS study.  The intentions of IGMETS were presented at the spring of 2014 WGZE and WGPME meetings.  Below is an FAQ based on comments and questions raised by these groups:

What are IGMETS' goals and products?

  1. A "plankton status report"-like document will be created, featuring seven chapters that cover the global oceans.  (WGPME will partake in the "North Atlantic and Marginal Seas" chapter.)  This report will differ from the WGPME report in that the "site summaries" portion will only be 1/3 to 1/2 of a page each (versus 2-3 pages each).  The bulk of the IGMETS report will be spatio-temporal analysis similar to what Bill Li did in our last report. 
  2. This will be an official IOC-UNESCO publication, which means it will fall on the desks of higher level policy makers and institutional leadership.
  3. The executive summary and various topic highlights within the report will discuss "why are time series important".  This material, present in a highly visible IOC-UNESCO report, is intended to be beneficial to everyone in keeping our time series efforts running and funded.

How much effort will it require from me?

  1. Your data update for the upcoming next "Phytoplankton & Microbial Plankton Status Report" will actually fulfill most of your data effort to participate in IGMETS.  (They are using data through 31-Dec-2012, which is shorter than our 31-Dec-2013 goal for our next report.)
  2. The site text is only 1/3 to 1/2 of a page.  You can probably clean-up and recycle the text from the last WGPME report.
  3. You will be given an opportunity to review and comment on all the multi-site analysis.  You can participate as much or as little beyond this as you desire.  (You can just submit data, or you can contribute heavily to the group-written chapter text.   Your choice.)

Will this report duplicate the WGPME Status Report?

  1. With only ~200 pages to discuss the entire world, the IGMETS report will not be able to go into depth (like the WGPME report) for any of the seven ocean chapters it will cover.
  2. The IGMETS report will only include data through the end of 2012.  (Our next status report will cover data through the end of 2013.)
  3. Our next report will come out BEFORE the UNESCO report.  (IGMETS should be the one worrying about duplicating our report!)  :)    Regardless, Todd is working on both and will make sure they are both unique and the best quality possible.
  4. IGMETS is reaching out through its IOC/UNESCO international contacts to invite currently absent-from-ICES time series from Canada, Greenland, Norway, and Russia.  (These will in turn be encourage to participate in the next WGPME report.)

Who will have access to our data at IGMETS?

  1. Todd O'Brien is handling all data for the IGMETS project (similar to how WGZE and WGPME work).
  2. The IGMETS data policy is identical to the WGPME data policy.  What you provide will only be used to create standard figures and to participate in the analysis.  All results will be shared with you prior to publication, allow you to comment/correct any items of concern.

What new data do I need to provide to participate in IGMETS?

  1. Todd has most of your data through 2010/2011 from the last report.   For IGMETS, he will request data through 31-Dec-2012.  If you are also able to submit data through 31-Dec-2013, Todd will not have to both you again for the next WGPME status report in spring of 2015.
  2. You will be encouraged to review the IGMETS Target Variables list to see if you can expand your institutions variable coverage (e.g., does your institute also do carbon or zooplankton data).


 If you have any further questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .