Stirring the seas: diving into pH and upwelling

Ocean acidification has gained attention recently due to the possibility that it may put marine ecosystems at risk, including those that are vital resources for human populations. Willapa Bay, an estuary made up of shallow areas of tidal flats with a deep central channel, is home to various seagrass, bivalve, invertebrate, fish and seabird species, and oyster farming is a dominant economic activity in the region. In this investigation, we gathered existing pH and temperature data and upwelling from 1991-2012 for the Nahcotta Channel, located in Willapa Bay to explore the relationship between ocean pH, upwelling, temperature and ENSO events We analyzed temporal trends of pH levels, temperature and upwelling indices. These trends were analyzed in light of recent El Niño and La Niña events. It was observed that pH and upwelling tends to increase during strong ENSO events while temperature is not affected.

Eva Johnson, Situating the Global Environment, Lewis & Clark College Environmental Studies Program, 2 May 2013. Article.


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