Abstract Title

Session S-02A: Future Salish Sea Water Quality

Presenter/Author Information

Neil Banas, University of WashingtonFollow

Keywords

Marine Water Quality

Location

Room 615-616-617

Start Date

30-4-2014 1:30 PM

End Date

30-4-2014 3:00 PM

Description

Climate change affects coastal and estuarine regions via a complex web of oceanic, atmospheric, hydrological, and biogeochemical processes. This talk summarizes the state of our knowledge regarding the relative importance of these pathways for Puget Sound, drawing on recent climate-downscaling model studies and retrospective analyses of observations by a number of research groups. Riverflow in the Puget Sound basin is expected to shift significantly in timing, and hydrodynamic modeling suggests that this will have direct effects on the seasonality of water-column stratification in Puget Sound, and potentially on the timing of the spring phytoplankton bloom. Contemporary projections of trends in upwelling-favorable winds are highly equivocal. A new regional model analysis suggests that the effects of even a substantial increase (20%) in upwelling on the Washington coast on nutrient and oxygen inputs in Puget Sound are likely to be at most comparable to the 50-year historical trend in sourcewater chemistry inherited from processes on the scale of the North Pacific. It may be many decades before long-term trends in ocean inputs exceed the range of natural decadal-scale variability, although some effects of climate change on Puget Sound--such as direct surface warming--will be felt much sooner.

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Apr 30th, 1:30 PM Apr 30th, 3:00 PM

Future climate impacts on Puget Sound oceanography: the North Pacific and hydrological context

Room 615-616-617

Climate change affects coastal and estuarine regions via a complex web of oceanic, atmospheric, hydrological, and biogeochemical processes. This talk summarizes the state of our knowledge regarding the relative importance of these pathways for Puget Sound, drawing on recent climate-downscaling model studies and retrospective analyses of observations by a number of research groups. Riverflow in the Puget Sound basin is expected to shift significantly in timing, and hydrodynamic modeling suggests that this will have direct effects on the seasonality of water-column stratification in Puget Sound, and potentially on the timing of the spring phytoplankton bloom. Contemporary projections of trends in upwelling-favorable winds are highly equivocal. A new regional model analysis suggests that the effects of even a substantial increase (20%) in upwelling on the Washington coast on nutrient and oxygen inputs in Puget Sound are likely to be at most comparable to the 50-year historical trend in sourcewater chemistry inherited from processes on the scale of the North Pacific. It may be many decades before long-term trends in ocean inputs exceed the range of natural decadal-scale variability, although some effects of climate change on Puget Sound--such as direct surface warming--will be felt much sooner.