finding 24.1 : increased-ocean-temp-impacts

The rise in ocean temperature over the last century will persist into the future, with continued large impacts on climate, ocean circulation, chemistry, and ecosystems.

This finding is from chapter 24 of Climate Change Impacts in the United States: The Third National Climate Assessment.

Process for developing key messages: A central component of the assessment process was the Oceans and Marine Resources Climate assessment workshop that was held January 23-24, 2012, at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Silver Spring, MD, and simultaneously, via web teleconference, at NOAA in Seattle, WA. In the workshop, nearly 30 participants took part in a series of scoping presentations and breakout sessions that began the process leading to a foundational Technical Input Report (TIR) entitled “Oceans and Marine Resources in a Changing Climate: Technical Input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment.”018aba6e-7bff-4124-ae9a-f2521e683bd1 The report, consisting of nearly 220 pages of text organized into 7 sections with numerous subsections and more than 1200 references, was assembled by 122 authors representing governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, tribes, and other entities. The chapter author team engaged in multiple technical discussions via teleconferences that permitted a careful review of the foundational TIR018aba6e-7bff-4124-ae9a-f2521e683bd1 and of approximately 25 additional technical inputs provided by the public, as well as the other published literature, and professional judgment. The chapter author team met at Conservation International in Arlington, VA on 3-4 May 2012 for expert deliberation of draft key messages by the authors, wherein each message was defended before the entire author team before the key message was selected for inclusion in the report. These discussions were supported by targeted consultation with additional experts by the lead author of each message to help define “key vulnerabilities.”

Description of evidence base: The key message is supported by extensive evidence documented in Sections 2 and 3 of the Oceans Technical Input Report018aba6e-7bff-4124-ae9a-f2521e683bd1 and in the additional technical inputs received as part of the Federal Register Notice solicitation for public input, as well as stakeholder engagement leading up to drafting the chapter. Relevant and recent peer-reviewed publications,11dc1346-c458-4cf2-a3c1-f75b60c337cb c0c83a69-2a4b-466b-825b-75104629014e ade3fd09-603e-4fae-b252-1a4142392ea0 9f1fa4b6-2d4d-414a-8cee-4b6e589753bb 88eb1d21-c245-468e-9508-33f3beebe215 including many others that are cited therein, describe evidence that ocean temperature has risen over the past century. This evidence base includes direct and indirect temperature measurements, paleoclimate records, and modeling results. There are also many relevant and recent peer-reviewed publications describing changes in physical and chemical ocean properties that are underway due to climate change.ec529b7a-dce4-48fe-9a6c-e118ca810835 24efff6a-9043-44c0-b7a2-fc4ff2461576 d17a7c52-86c2-4dfc-9328-d6e3df410daf

New information and remaining uncertainties: Important new information since the last National Climate Assessmente251f590-177e-4ba6-8ed1-6f68b5e54c8a includes the latest update to a data set of ocean temperatures.9f1fa4b6-2d4d-414a-8cee-4b6e589753bb There is accumulating new information on all of these points with regard to physical and chemical changes in the ocean and resultant impacts on marine ecosystems. Both measurements and model results are continuing to sharpen the picture. A significant area of uncertainty remains with regard to the region-by-region impacts of warming, acidification, and associated changes in the oceans. Regional and local conditions mean that impacts will not be uniform around the U.S. coasts or internationally. Forecasting of regional changes is still an area of very active research, though the overall patterns for some features are now clear. Large-scale and recurring climate phenomena (such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation) cause dramatic changes in biological productivity and ecosystem structure and make it difficult to discern climate-driven trends. Current time series of biological productivity are restricted to a handful of sites around the globe and to a few decades, and global, comprehensive satellite time series of ocean color are even shorter, beginning in 1997. Based on an analysis of different in situ datasets, one research group suggested a decline of 1% per year over the past century, but these findings may be an artifact of limited data and have been widely debated.d17a7c52-86c2-4dfc-9328-d6e3df410daf 973493c4-7e62-481c-91ce-abd7168bc05e However, the few in situ time series mostly indicate increases in biological productivity over the past 20 years, but with clear links to regional changes in climate.d17a7c52-86c2-4dfc-9328-d6e3df410daf

Assessment of confidence based on evidence: Confidence that the ocean is warming and acidifying, and that sea level is rising is very high. Changes in other physical and chemical properties such as ocean circulation, wave heights, oxygen minimums, and salinity are of medium confidence. For ecosystem changes, there is high confidence that these are occurring and will persist and likely grow in the future, though the details of these changes are highly geographically variable.

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