Monday, 12 January 2009
A Study of Coastal Upwelling and Climate Change along the California Coast
Hall 5 (Phoenix Convention Center)
The coastal upwelling is broadly determined by the wind stress effects on circulation, and other factors such as the ocean currents, bathymetry and the shape of the coastline. Recent studies have shown the significance of the regional/mesoscale spatial and temporal structure of upwelling favorable wind driven factors over the northern and central California coast during the warm season. However, studies focusing on coastal upwelling related climate change effects in this area are rather limited. In this study, we focus on the impacts of climate change scenarios due to the California Current and associated upwelling using a regional climate model (RCM). The Weather Research Forecasting Model (WRF) is the atmospheric component of the RCM and has an option to use a simplified oceanic mixed layer model. The initial and boundary conditions for the RCM are obtained from a global climate model. This study will broadly investigate the coupled dynamics of wind driven upwelling and the feedbacks between the ocean and atmosphere during the peak months of summer using both the oceanic mixed layer models and a three-dimensional ocean model. The results will also provide a valuable step in understanding the climatological aspects of upwelling and their impact on marine biology in the coastal regions.