May 31, 2017

Persistent spatial structuring of coastal ocean acidification in the California Current System

by
F. Chan, J. A. Barth, C. A. Blanchette, R. H. Byrne, F. Chavez, O. Cheriton, R. A. Feely, G. Friederich, B. Gaylord, T. Gouhier, S. Hacker, T. Hill, G. Hofmann, M. A. McManus, B. A. Menge, K. J. Nielsen, A. Russell, E. Sanford, J. Sevadjian, L. Washburn
,
Scientific Reports
  • States that the near-term progression of ocean acidification (OA) is projected to bring about sharp changes in the chemistry of coastal upwelling ecosystems
  • States that the distribution of OA exposure across these early-impact systems, however, is highly uncertain and limits scientists' understanding of whether and how spatial management actions can be deployed
  • Using a novel coastal OA observing network, uncovers a remarkably persistent spatial mosaic in the penetration of acidified waters into ecologically-important nearshore habitats across 1,000 km of the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem
  • Finds that in the most severe exposure hotspots, suboptimal conditions for calcifying organisms encompassed up to 56% of the summer season
  • Finds that these conditions were accompanied by some of the lowest and most variable pH environments known for the surface ocean
  • Notes existence of persistent refuge areas that highlight opportunities for local adaptation