S131 The Connectivity between Large-scale Ocean-atmospheric Patterns, Terrestrial Coastal Ecosystem Outcomes and Blue Economy

Sunday, 6 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Esmeralda Vargas, CREST, New York, NY; and N. Maxfield and I. Pal

The Connectivity between Larger-scale Ocean-atmospheric Patterns, Terrestrial Coastal Ecosystem Outcomes and Blue Economy

Esmeralda Vargas, Nicolas Maxfield, Indrani Pal

NOAA Center for Earth System Sciences and Remote Sensing Technologies (NOAA-CREST), The City University of New York, New York City, New York, USA.

Our Earth is often described as the blue marble, for its blue skies and vast blue oceans. This is where the term Blue Economy stems from, it is a term used to describe careers, businesses, trades and among many other economic activities that are associated with the atmosphere and the ocean. These two components are directly related to one another, for variability and change in one can influence the other. The term Blue Economy can be very abstract, and it is analyzed throughout this research in order to better understand its meaning and applicability for terrestrial coastal ecosystem services. The main goals are to illustrate why and how coastal watersheds and terrestrial ecosystems must be considered under Blue Economy research and outcomes. We first present Blue Economy from the ocean’s perspective and later connect that to the larger-scale ocean-atmospheric patterns. Then we analyze how coastal terrestrial ecosystems can be continuously impacted by hydroclimate variability and extremes as well as by humans. These constant dynamics and relevant impacts on Blue Economy are less well studied, however, we make a case that they are crucial. We will use a case of a coastal watershed in California to indicate the coupled human-natural dynamical influence on the river system that is an important breeding ground for salmonid species. A decline in salmon population affects marine ecosystems that rely on these fish as a source of nutrition and fishery businesses. As California fisheries rely on these species for profit, the stability of their freshwater habitat is essential to our Blue Economy. We explore a range of contributing factors influencing these fish species in California’s coastal terrestrial ecosystem. A factor we explore is climate, and its effects on low and high flow conditions of rivers, as droughts and floods can cause rivers to go through cycles of lower and higher flows. Ultimately, we aim to produce evidence on why it is essential that coastal terrestrial ecosystems be considered within Blue Economy research.

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