Recent climate change impacts
on the Gulf of Maine

Cindy Pilskaln

Professor of Oceanography

School for Marine Science and Technology

University of Massachusetts


Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Pacific Forum—11:00 a.m.

The Gulf of Maine is experiencing substantial decadal changes in water column biogeochemical characteristics and planktonic-benthic ecosystem structure and function. Such transformations are believed to be the result of global anthropogenic forcing with acute effects on the North Atlantic region. To examine linkages between drivers, stressors, and specific impacts on the biogeochemical system and ecology, various multi-year chemical and biological data sets collected from time-series moorings, research cruises, and satellite surveys in the Gulf of Maine will be presented and discussed.

Recent freshening and warming of the North Atlantic/Gulf of Maine appear to be significant drivers of biological community regime shifts, changes in carbon delivery rates, variations in benthic community life cycles, as well as driving potential impacts on Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) precipitation/dissolution rates. Implications are that these trends will continue along their present trajectory into the future as a function of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and global temperature rise.

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Next: October 26, Tara Brown


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