Climate impact on hypersalinity in an Australian coastal bay

Ribbe, Joachim (2010) Climate impact on hypersalinity in an Australian coastal bay. In: Climate alert: climate change monitoring and strategy. Sydney University Press, Sydney, Australia, pp. 213-237. ISBN 9781920899363


Recent work on episodes of hypersalinity in a subtropical east Australian coastal bay is reviewed. Hypersalinity is a response of coastal bays and estuaries to the local freshwater balance which fluctuates due to variable rainfall, river run-off, and evaporation. Longer lasting episodes of hypersaline conditions are a likely consequence of a drying and warming climate. The response of the coastal ocean to changes in the hydrological cycle has been observed in several Australian coastal systems, including the response to persistent drought conditions resulting in increased salinity and more frequent hypersaline conditions. In addition to observing hypersaline conditions in Hervey Bay off the central Queensland coast, first modelling experiments indicate that the frequency of hypersaline conditions has increased during the last twenty years. Coastal regions are important nurseries for Australian fisheries and the likely impact of persistent below average rainfall upon marine environmental conditions is yet to be assessed. This work indicates that routine monitoring of coastal salinity is essential in order to evaluate future impacts of climate change.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Biological and Physical Sciences
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2010 05:14
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2016 03:18
Uncontrolled Keywords: climate change; climate impact; coastal ocean; rainfall; hypersalinity; drought; Queensland; Australia; Hervey Bay
Fields of Research : 04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040104 Climate Change Processes
04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040105 Climatology (excl.Climate Change Processes)
04 Earth Sciences > 0405 Oceanography > 040503 Physical Oceanography
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960304 Climate Variability (excl. Social Impacts)

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