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CLIMATE VARIABILITY, CHANGE, AND CONSEQUENCES IN ESTUARIES
Walker, H A. CLIMATE VARIABILITY, CHANGE, AND CONSEQUENCES IN ESTUARIES. Presented at Estuarine Research Federation 16th Biennial Conference, St. Petersburg, FL, November 4-8, 2001.
Climate change operates at global, hemispheric, and regional scales, sometimes involving rapid shifts in ocean and atmospheric circulation. Changes of global scope occurred in the transition into the Little Ice Age (1350-1880) and subsequent warming during the 20th century. In the past 50 years this warming trend has been accompanied by increases in the heat content of the world ocean, an increasing frequency of El Nino events in the Pacific, and a dramatic shift in regional climates around the North Atlantic affecting conditions in our estuaries. Yet data on sea salt content in ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica suggest that the salt transport pattern into polar regions prevalent during the Little Ice Age has persisted well into the 20th century. Are we now in a process of transition out of a pattern of polar climate variability prevalent during the Little Ice Age, into a pattern more analogous to Medieval times? To better anticipate the potential regional implications of rapid climate transitions, we should be looking for patterns of regional climate change during the Holocene affecting temperature, precipitation, stream flow, and salinity conditions in our estuaries. This talk concentrates on mid-Atlantic climate sensitivity to changes in the North Atlantic Oscillation.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY
ATLANTIC ECOLOGY DIVISION
ECOLOGICAL RESPONSE BRANCH