WIT Press


Climate Change Induced Decadal Variations In Hydrodynamic Conditions And Their Influence On Benthic Habitats Of The Estonian Coastal Sea

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/RAV110391

Volume

148

Pages

12

Page Range

427 - 438

Published

2011

Size

1144 kb

Author(s)

Ü. Suursaar, T. Kullas, A. Kovtun, K. Torn & R. Aps

Abstract

Above Northern Europe, recent climate change, apart from temperature rise, also manifests as shifts in wind climatology and storminess, which, in turn, influences the marine ecosystem via changes in hydrodynamic regime. Based on meteorological and sea level data from the Estonian weather and tide gauge stations, as well as on hydrodynamic modelling experiments with the shallow sea 2D model and wave hindcast for the period 1966–2009, the study includes an analysis of hydrodynamic changes in the Estonian coastal waters and discussion on their possible influences on the biotic component of the littoral zone. In the practically tideless Baltic Sea, the climate change induced variations include spatially contrasting trends in sea level, wave conditions and turbidity. Changes in thermohaline and oxygen conditions are frequently governed by shifts in wind-driven flow patterns and upwelling zones. Variations in spatial distribution of charophytes can serve as indicators for changes in coastal sea hydrodynamic conditions. Keywords: climate change, sea level, wave hindcast, macroalgae, Baltic Sea.

Keywords

climate change, sea level, wave hindcast, macroalgae, Baltic Sea