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Deep Sea Res
Morey, S., Koch, M., Liu, Y., & Lee, S. - K. (2017). Florida's oceans and marine habitats in a changing climate. In E. P. Chassignet, J. W. Jones, V. Misra, & J. Obeysekera (Eds.),
Florida's climate: Changes, variations, & impacts
(pp. 391–425). Gainesville, FL: Florida Climate Institute.
Florida’s peninsula extending ~700 km north-to-south, extensive shoreline (2,100 km), and broad carbonate platform create a diversity of marine habitats (estuaries, lagoons, bays, beach, reef, shelf, pelagic) along the coast, shelf, and deep ocean that are influenced by continental, oceanographic, and atmospheric processes all predicted to shift with a rapidly changing climate. Future changes of the global ocean circulation could result in a 25% reduction in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), leading to a subsequent slowing of Florida’s regional/local current systems (Yucatan, Loop, Florida and Gulf Stream) and eddies. While downscaled climate models suggest that slowing of the Loop Current by 20-25% during the 21st century will moderate the increase in surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico to 1.4oC - 2.8oC, this warming is predicted to have wide-ranging consequences for Florida’s marine habitats (e.g., enhanced coral bleaching, lower O2 in surface waters, increased harmful algal blooms, reduced phytoplankton and fisheries production, and lower sea turtle reproduction). The reduction in the AMOC is also predicted to reduce hurricane frequency, albeit with increased intensity (2-11%) due to ocean warming. Climate projections affecting Florida’s oceans include rises in sea level, changes in coastal circulation impacting larval and nutrient transport, changes in marine biogeochemistry including ocean acidification, and loss of coastal wetlands that protect Florida’s coastline. Understanding the consequences of these projected climate impacts and gaining a more complete understanding of complex changes in atmospheric processes (e.g., ENSO, AMO, convection, wind shear), air-sea interaction, currents, and stratification under a changing climate is critical over the next few decades to prepare and protect the state of Florida.
Sea level rise
Gulf of Mexico
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