Response of the pelagic system of the Pacific Ocean off Baja California Peninsula to the projected effects of climate change: insights from a numerical model.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Beatriz Arellano, CICESE National Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education of Mexico, Ensenada, Mexico and David Rivas, Organization Not Listed, Washington, DC, United States
The response of the physical and biological dynamics of the Pacific Ocean off Baja California to the projected effects of climate change are studied using numerical simulations. This region is part of the California Current System, which is a highly productive ecosystem due to the seasonal upwelling, supporting all the trophic levels and important fisheries. The response of the ecosystem to the effects of climate change is uncertain and the information generated by models could be useful to predict future conditions. A three-dimensional hydrodinamical model is coupled to a Nitrate-Phytoplankton-Zooplankton-Detritus (NPZD) trophic model, and it is forced by the GFDL 3.0 model outputs. Monthly climatologies of variables such as temperature, nutrients, wind, and ocean circulation patterns during the historical period 1985-2005 are compared to the available observed data in order to assess the model's ability to reproduce the observed patterns. The system's response to a high-emission scenario proposed by the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) is also studied. The experiments are carried out using data correspondig to the RCP 6.0 scenario during the period 2006-2050.