The impact of climate variability and change on human communities is a common research theme within the three international research programmes DAMOCLES (Developing Arctic Modeling and Observing Capabilities for Long-term Environmental Studies), SEARCH and S4D (SEARCHforDAMOCLES). 

The Oslo S4D workshop will bring together a small group of natural and social science, as well as modeling experts to discuss some of the  methodological opportunities and challenges associated with understanding and modeling of coupled social-ecological responses to climate variability and change in Arctic marine systems. It will also provide a forum for the SEARCH and DAMOCLES scientific communities to inform one another of their respective activities, discuss different approaches to similar research topics, and plan future collaboration. While the spatial focus lies on the Barents Sea region, research input and understanding from other areas is needed to make progress. The outcome of the workshop will be the identification of critical gaps and areas for cooperative research across programmes and disciplines, both within and beyond the DAMOCLES, SEARCH and S4D communities.

The interlinkages between climate variability and change, fish recruitment, fisheries activities and social and economic changes in fisheries-dependent communities and regions are highly complex and not well understood. Fishery communities, scientists, and policy-makers are increasingly alike articulating a need for a better understanding of these interlinkages. People living in the North are already confronting rapid environmental change as a result of climate change and will likely face even greater changes in the near future. Applying a range of scientific methods, data and expertise is essential for improving the understanding of how climate change affects coupled marine social-ecological systems, and for making projections into the future. A central methodological challenge associated with modeling such interactions is to reduce the complexity that is inherent in social and ecological systems, and their interactions, to a set of robust and quantifiable relations.