Researchers using Bight data to evaluating accuracy of ocean acidification model

Posted April 28, 2017

Researchers working to develop a West Coast computer model that predicts how land-based sources of nutrients influence ocean acidification in nearshore coastal waters have begun using field data collected from the Southern California Bight to evaluate the accuracy of the model’s predictions.

The model validation step involves plugging Bight biogeochemical cycling data into the computer model to determine how accurately the model predicts acidification and hypoxia conditions across the Bight continental shelf.

Validating the model’s performance with locally collected data will give managers increased confidence that the model’s predictions can be used reliably for management decision-making.

The Bight validation data sets are made up of measurements of key biogeochemical cycling rates and processes, including primary production, respiration, nitrogen uptake by phytoplankton, and nitrification.

SCCWRP’s POTW member agencies, which collected the field data last year, approved the “process studies” data in March for use by the West Coast modelers.

The West Coast acidification modeling effort, of which SCCWRP is a part, is a three-year initiative to help West Coast managers understand which marine habitats are most vulnerable to ocean acidification and to what extent local, land-based source of nutrients are exacerbating acidification conditions.

The modeling work involves coupling West Coast physical and biogeochemical ocean models together to understand the relative contributions of global carbon dioxide emissions, natural upwelling processes, and nutrients introduced via wastewater effluent, stormwater runoff and atmospheric deposition.

More news related to: Climate Change, Eutrophication, Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia