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Puget Sound and the Straits Dissolved Oxygen Assessment: Impacts of Current and Future Human Nitrogen Sources and Climate Change through 2070

Publication number Date Published
14-03-007March 2014
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Author(s) Roberts, M., T. Mohamedali, B. Sackmann, T. Khangaonkar, and W. Long (PNNL)
Description We evaluated the relative impacts of human nutrient loads, Pacific Ocean conditions, and climate change on dissolved oxygen (DO) in Puget Sound and the Straits of Juan de Fuca and Georgia (the Salish Sea) using a computer model of current and future conditions. Most of the Salish Sea reflects a relatively low impact from human nitrogen sources. Portions of South and Central Puget Sound experience the greatest impacts, which would worsen with future population growth. If 50-year trends in ocean DO continue, Salish Sea DO would decline far more than from human nutrient loads. Climate change will alter the timing of freshwater flow, which could worsen impacts in some regions but lessen others. Future air temperature increases would decrease DO in shallow inlets.
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Keywords Pacific Ocean, Salish Sea, nitrogen, wastewater, Strait of Juan de Fuca, Puget Sound, dissolved oxygen, climate change
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