Climate Panel- CCW conference


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Presentation during the Climate Panel breakout group at the Choose Clean Water conference

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  • Sea level rise will have a major impact on coastal resources.
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  • Climate Panel- CCW conference

    1. 1. Climate Change and the Chesapeake Bay Region
    2. 2. <ul><li>Chesapeake Bay region is likely to be sensitive to changes in long-term mean climate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Juxtaposed between: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>subtropical & temperate climate zones </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>maritime & continental air mass source regions </li></ul></ul></ul>Continental Polar Maritime Tropical Maritime Polar Air mass types, source regions, & trajectories
    3. 3. <ul><li>Predicting future climate directions is an evolving science </li></ul><ul><li>Difficult to quantify uncertainty </li></ul><ul><li>Models often disagree (e.g. Hadley & CCC precipitation) </li></ul><ul><li>Resolution in time & space is still far below requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Cannot resolve events on biologically relevant scales </li></ul><ul><li>We depend on best estimates, but need to keep improving models </li></ul>From the Mid-Atlantic Regional Assessment (MARA 2000) High +2.7 to +5.3 +1.0 to +1.5 Temperature (C) Low -4 to +27 -2 to +6 Runoff (%) Medium +6 to +24 -1 to +8 Precipitation (%) High +39 to +102 +11 to + 31 Sea level (cm) Very high +50 to +120 +20 to +30 CO2 (%) Confidence Year 2095 Year 2030 Variable (units)
    4. 4. Chesapeake Bay watershed is an important ecosystem <ul><li>Keystone system supporting the larger NE US coastal shelf </li></ul><ul><ul><li>feeding ground & nursery area for many ecologically and economically important species- </li></ul></ul>Atlantic croaker summer flounder blueback herring American shad spot striped bass bluefish Atlantic menhaden
    5. 6. <ul><li>shallow water temperature </li></ul><ul><li>sea-level rise </li></ul><ul><li>precipitation </li></ul><ul><li>wind patterns and intensity </li></ul><ul><li>water circulation patterns </li></ul>Climate change may affect
    6. 7. <ul><li>affects metabolism, activity, feeding, growth, reproduction </li></ul><ul><li>sensitivity varies with species, age, size, season </li></ul><ul><li>sublethal effects may eliminate a species by favoring competitors, predators, parasites </li></ul>Temperature is a ‘master factor’
    7. 10. Mya arenaria Macoma balthica
    8. 12. Flow & temperature changes may alter species’ distributions Example: Distribution of oyster pathogen, Perkinsus marinus (Dermo) Prior to 1980 From: Burreson & Calvo (1996) 1996 Warm Winters & Drought
    9. 13. <ul><li>Predicted temperature effects </li></ul><ul><li>poleward expansion of warm-water species </li></ul><ul><li>poleward retreat of cold-water species </li></ul><ul><li>delayed replacement of “lost” species in estuaries </li></ul><ul><li>disruption of community interactions </li></ul><ul><li>habitat squeeze, e.g., striped bass </li></ul>
    10. 14. Soft clam (Virginia – Arctic) Winter flounder (Virginia – Arctic) 3-spine stickleback (Chesapeake Bay – Labrador) Cunner (Virginia – Labrador) Lumpfish (Chesapeake Bay north) Retreating Northward
    11. 15. Pink, white, brown shrimp (GOM - Virginia) Black drum (uncommon N. of Delaware Bay) Spotted seatrout (rare N. of Delaware Bay) Atlantic stingray (Mex. – Ches. Bay) Southern flounder (TX – Ches. Bay) Blue crab relatives Advancing Northward
    12. 16. Temperature and Oxygen <ul><li>Higher temperature increases metabolism and thus D.O. requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Warm water holds less D.O. </li></ul><ul><li>Warm water increases B.O.D., so D.O. levels drop further </li></ul>
    13. 17. Striped bass Optimum conditions
    14. 18. Striped bass Stress conditions
    15. 19. Sea level rise caused by thermal expansion of water and melting of land ice Melting
    16. 20. Mid-range estimates (inches) of effective sea level rise by 2100 and by 2200 (changes in land elevation factored in) Portland 19 43 New York 22 48 Seattle 19 42 San Francisco 15 36 Los Angeles 13 32 Charleston 25 53 Grand Isle 55 112 Miami Beach 20 44 Source: U.S. EPA (1995).
    17. 21. Sea level rise will affect coastal erosion purple
    18. 22. <ul><li>loss of marshes </li></ul><ul><li>“ armored” shorelines; economic disruption </li></ul><ul><li>salt-water intrusion </li></ul><ul><li>pest/predator invasions </li></ul><ul><li>habitat squeeze </li></ul><ul><li>salinization of freshwater </li></ul>Sea level rise may lead to
    19. 23. Titus and Richman, 2000. Climate Research Modeled 1.3 and 3.3 m elevations Sea level rise Many tidal wetlands are deteriorating as a result of relative sea level rise Human intervention is likely to interfere with landward retreat of wetlands Relative sea level rise in Chesapeake Bay (Solomons MD)
    20. 24. Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (MD) 1938 1980 Marsh Open Water Upland Due to nutria feeding as well as land subsidence and sea-level rise N 1 0 1 2 3 Kilometers
    21. 25. Redrawn from: Kneib, 1997 <ul><li>Sea level rise and the implications for fisheries </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>loss of nursery area habitat & production </li></ul></ul></ul>
    22. 26. Precipitation may include intense rainfall events Increased flooding, but probably much drier between storms. Will affect river flow and thus estuarine circulation
    23. 27. Runoff after Hurricane Floyd
    24. 28. <ul><li>increased runoff into estuaries will increase water column stratification and hypoxia or anoxia </li></ul><ul><li>this runoff will “squeeze” habitat if seawater also encroaches </li></ul><ul><li>droughts will also affect estuarine habitat </li></ul>Precipitation changes
    25. 29. Wet winter-spring Enhanced spring bloom Dry winter-spring Subdued spring bloom <ul><li>Spring flow affects: </li></ul><ul><li>Spring bloom </li></ul><ul><li>Primary production </li></ul><ul><li>Dissolved oxygen </li></ul>
    26. 30. <ul><ul><li>may affect upwelling, downwelling, circulation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>may influence coastal transport of blue crabs, menhaden, spot, bluefish, croaker... </li></ul></ul>Changes in wind patterns or intensity
    27. 31. 1 - Southward transport Blue crab larval transport 2 - Offshore mixing; upwelling (winds); northward transport 3 - Onshore transport; downwelling; late summer winds
    28. 32. Coastal regions may be exposed to higher storm surges, especially if hurricanes become more intense and more frequent purple
    29. 33. Potential ecological responses to climate change <ul><li>Green : Life cycle of a generic marine species. </li></ul><ul><li>Yellow : Abiotic changes in environment that directly affect dispersal, recruitment, and individual performance at various stages in life cycle. </li></ul><ul><li>Blue : Additional effects at the community level with changes in population size and per capita effects of interacting species. </li></ul><ul><li>Proximate ecological effects of climate change thus include shifts in the performance of individuals, population dynamics, and community structure. </li></ul><ul><li>Together these proximate effects lead to emergent patterns such as changes in species distributions, biodiversity, productivity, and micro-evolutionary processes. </li></ul>Modified from Harley et al. 2006
    30. 34. Climate change and introduced species 2009 TREE 24:686-693 Walther et al. Dermo disease
    31. 35. <ul><li>Need to understand future concentrations and the biogeochemical cycling of greenhouse gases and aerosols </li></ul><ul><li>Must improve representation of climate feedback processes in models </li></ul><ul><ul><li>clouds, convection and precipitation, sea ice, vegetation, oceans </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Need better predictions of regional patterns of change </li></ul><ul><li>There may be non-linear responses (“surprises”) </li></ul>There are still many uncertainties