Presentation Abstract

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.

Session Title

Session S-02A: Future Salish Sea Water Quality

Conference Track

Marine Water Quality

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2014 : Seattle, Wash.)

Document Type

Event

Start Date

30-4-2014 1:30 PM

End Date

30-4-2014 3:00 PM

Location

Room 615-616-617

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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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.