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Title: Salish Sea Response to Global Climate Change, Sea Level Rise, and Future Nutrient Loads

Abstract

Given annual occurrences of hypoxia, harmful algal blooms, and evidence of coastal acidification, the potential impacts of climate change on water quality are of increasing concern in the U.S. Pacific Northwest estuaries such as the Salish Sea. While large-scale global climate projections are well documented, our understanding of the nearshore estuarine-scale response is not as well developed. In this study, the future response within the Salish Sea fjord-like environment was examined using the Salish Sea Model driven by downscaled outputs from the NCAR climate model CESM. We simulated a single projection of 95-year change under the RCP 8.5 greenhouse gas emissions scenario. Results indicate that higher temperatures, lower pH, and decreased dissolved oxygen levels in the upwelled shelf waters in the future would propagate into the Salish Sea. Results point to potential changes in average Salish Sea temperature (≈+1.51°C), dissolved oxygen (≈-0.77 mg/L), and pH (acidification -0.18 units) in the Y2095 relative to historical Y2000. The algal biomass in the Salish Sea could increase by ≈23% with a potential species shift from diatoms towards dinoflagellates. The region of annually recurring hypoxia could increase from <1% today to ≈16% in the future. Finally, the results suggest that the future response inmore » the Salish Sea is less severe relative to the change predicted near the continental shelf boundary. This resilience of the Salish Sea may be attributed to the existence of strong vertical circulation cells that provide mitigation and serve as a physical buffer, thus keeping waters cooler, more oxygenated, and less acidic.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Marine Sciences Division
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1571514
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-143747
Journal ID: ISSN 2169-9275
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research. Oceans
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 124; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-9275
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; climate change; ocean acidification; Salish Sea; puget sound; circulation; hypoxia; biogeochemical model; Three-Dimensional Hydrodynamic Model; nutrient loads; phytoplankton; algae; unstructured grid

Citation Formats

Khangaonkar, Tarang, Nugraha, Adi, Xu, Wenwei, and Balaguru, Karthik. Salish Sea Response to Global Climate Change, Sea Level Rise, and Future Nutrient Loads. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1029/2018JC014670.
Khangaonkar, Tarang, Nugraha, Adi, Xu, Wenwei, & Balaguru, Karthik. Salish Sea Response to Global Climate Change, Sea Level Rise, and Future Nutrient Loads. United States. doi:10.1029/2018JC014670.
Khangaonkar, Tarang, Nugraha, Adi, Xu, Wenwei, and Balaguru, Karthik. Fri . "Salish Sea Response to Global Climate Change, Sea Level Rise, and Future Nutrient Loads". United States. doi:10.1029/2018JC014670.
@article{osti_1571514,
title = {Salish Sea Response to Global Climate Change, Sea Level Rise, and Future Nutrient Loads},
author = {Khangaonkar, Tarang and Nugraha, Adi and Xu, Wenwei and Balaguru, Karthik},
abstractNote = {Given annual occurrences of hypoxia, harmful algal blooms, and evidence of coastal acidification, the potential impacts of climate change on water quality are of increasing concern in the U.S. Pacific Northwest estuaries such as the Salish Sea. While large-scale global climate projections are well documented, our understanding of the nearshore estuarine-scale response is not as well developed. In this study, the future response within the Salish Sea fjord-like environment was examined using the Salish Sea Model driven by downscaled outputs from the NCAR climate model CESM. We simulated a single projection of 95-year change under the RCP 8.5 greenhouse gas emissions scenario. Results indicate that higher temperatures, lower pH, and decreased dissolved oxygen levels in the upwelled shelf waters in the future would propagate into the Salish Sea. Results point to potential changes in average Salish Sea temperature (≈+1.51°C), dissolved oxygen (≈-0.77 mg/L), and pH (acidification -0.18 units) in the Y2095 relative to historical Y2000. The algal biomass in the Salish Sea could increase by ≈23% with a potential species shift from diatoms towards dinoflagellates. The region of annually recurring hypoxia could increase from <1% today to ≈16% in the future. Finally, the results suggest that the future response in the Salish Sea is less severe relative to the change predicted near the continental shelf boundary. This resilience of the Salish Sea may be attributed to the existence of strong vertical circulation cells that provide mitigation and serve as a physical buffer, thus keeping waters cooler, more oxygenated, and less acidic.},
doi = {10.1029/2018JC014670},
journal = {Journal of Geophysical Research. Oceans},
number = 6,
volume = 124,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {5}
}

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