Evans Wiley

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  • Article
    Carbon cycling in the North American coastal ocean: a synthesis
    (European Geosciences Union, 2019-03-27) Fennel, Katja ; Alin, Simone R. ; Barbero, Leticia ; Evans, Wiley ; Bourgeois, Timothée ; Cooley, Sarah R. ; Dunne, John P. ; Feely, Richard A. ; Hernandez-Ayon, Jose Martin ; Hu, Xinping ; Lohrenz, Steven E. ; Muller-Karger, Frank E. ; Najjar, Raymond G. ; Robbins, Lisa ; Shadwick, Elizabeth H. ; Siedlecki, Samantha A. ; Steiner, Nadja ; Sutton, Adrienne J. ; Turk, Daniela ; Vlahos, Penny ; Wang, Zhaohui Aleck
    A quantification of carbon fluxes in the coastal ocean and across its boundaries with the atmosphere, land, and the open ocean is important for assessing the current state and projecting future trends in ocean carbon uptake and coastal ocean acidification, but this is currently a missing component of global carbon budgeting. This synthesis reviews recent progress in characterizing these carbon fluxes for the North American coastal ocean. Several observing networks and high-resolution regional models are now available. Recent efforts have focused primarily on quantifying the net air–sea exchange of carbon dioxide (CO2). Some studies have estimated other key fluxes, such as the exchange of organic and inorganic carbon between shelves and the open ocean. Available estimates of air–sea CO2 flux, informed by more than a decade of observations, indicate that the North American Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) acts as a sink of 160±80 Tg C yr−1, although this flux is not well constrained. The Arctic and sub-Arctic, mid-latitude Atlantic, and mid-latitude Pacific portions of the EEZ account for 104, 62, and −3.7 Tg C yr−1, respectively, while making up 51 %, 25 %, and 24 % of the total area, respectively. Combining the net uptake of 160±80 Tg C yr−1 with an estimated carbon input from land of 106±30 Tg C yr−1 minus an estimated burial of 65±55 Tg C yr−1 and an estimated accumulation of dissolved carbon in EEZ waters of 50±25 Tg C yr−1 implies a carbon export of 151±105 Tg C yr−1 to the open ocean. The increasing concentration of inorganic carbon in coastal and open-ocean waters leads to ocean acidification. As a result, conditions favoring the dissolution of calcium carbonate occur regularly in subsurface coastal waters in the Arctic, which are naturally prone to low pH, and the North Pacific, where upwelling of deep, carbon-rich waters has intensified. Expanded monitoring and extension of existing model capabilities are required to provide more reliable coastal carbon budgets, projections of future states of the coastal ocean, and quantification of anthropogenic carbon contributions.
  • Article
    Changes in the arctic ocean carbon cycle with diminishing ice cover
    (American Geophysical Union, 2020-05-24) DeGrandpre, Michael D. ; Evans, Wiley ; Timmermans, Mary-Louise ; Krishfield, Richard A. ; Williams, William J. ; Steele, Michael
    Less than three decades ago only a small fraction of the Arctic Ocean (AO) was ice free and then only for short periods. The ice cover kept sea surface pCO2 at levels lower relative to other ocean basins that have been exposed year round to ever increasing atmospheric levels. In this study, we evaluate sea surface pCO2 measurements collected over a 6‐year period along a fixed cruise track in the Canada Basin. The measurements show that mean pCO2 levels are significantly higher during low ice years. The pCO2 increase is likely driven by ocean surface heating and uptake of atmospheric CO2 with large interannual variability in the contributions of these processes. These findings suggest that increased ice‐free periods will further increase sea surface pCO2, reducing the Canada Basin's current role as a net sink of atmospheric CO2.
  • Article
    Ocean acidification risk assessment for Alaska’s fishery sector
    (Elsevier, 2014-07-14) Mathis, Jeremy T. ; Cooley, Sarah R. ; Lucey, Noelle ; Colt, Steve ; Ekstrom, Julia ; Hurst, Tom ; Hauri, Claudine ; Evans, Wiley ; Cross, Jessica N. ; Feely, Richard A.
    The highly productive fisheries of Alaska are located in seas projected to experience strong global change, including rapid transitions in temperature and ocean acidification-driven changes in pH and other chemical parameters. Many of the marine organisms that are most intensely affected by ocean acidification (OA) contribute substantially to the state’s commercial fisheries and traditional subsistence way of life. Prior studies of OA’s potential impacts on human communities have focused only on possible direct economic losses from specific scenarios of human dependence on commercial harvests and damages to marine species. However, other economic and social impacts, such as changes in food security or livelihoods, are also likely to result from climate change. This study evaluates patterns of dependence on marine resources within Alaska that could be negatively impacted by OA and current community characteristics to assess the potential risk to the fishery sector from OA. Here, we used a risk assessment framework based on one developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to analyze earth-system global ocean model hindcasts and projections of ocean chemistry, fisheries harvest data, and demographic information. The fisheries examined were: shellfish, salmon and other finfish. The final index incorporates all of these data to compare overall risk among Alaska’s federally designated census areas. The analysis showed that regions in southeast and southwest Alaska that are highly reliant on fishery harvests and have relatively lower incomes and employment alternatives likely face the highest risk from OA. Although this study is an intermediate step toward our full understanding, the results presented here show that OA merits consideration in policy planning, as it may represent another challenge to Alaskan communities, some of which are already under acute socio-economic strains.
  • Article
    Ocean acidification in the surface waters of the Pacific-Arctic boundary regions
    (The Oceanography Society, 2015-06) Mathis, Jeremy T. ; Cross, Jessica N. ; Evans, Wiley ; Doney, Scott C.
    The continental shelves of the Pacific-Arctic Region (PAR) are especially vulnerable to the effects of ocean acidification (OA) because the intrusion of anthropogenic CO2 is not the only process that can reduce pH and carbonate mineral saturation states for aragonite (Ωarag). Enhanced sea ice melt, respiration of organic matter, upwelling, and riverine inputs have been shown to exacerbate CO2 -driven ocean acidification in high-latitude regions. Additionally, the indirect effect of changing sea ice coverage is providing a positive feedback to OA as more open water will allow for greater uptake of atmospheric CO2 . Here, we compare model-based outputs from the Community Earth System Model with a subset of recent ship-based observations, and take an initial look at future model projections of surface water Ωarag in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas. We then use the model outputs to define benchmark years when biological impacts are likely to result from reduced Ωarag. Each of the three continental shelf seas in the PAR will become undersaturated with respect to aragonite at approximately 30-year intervals, indicating that aragonite undersaturations gradually progress upstream along the flow path of the waters as they move north from the Pacific Ocean. However, naturally high variability in Ωarag may indicate higher resilience of the Bering Sea ecosystem to these low-Ωarag conditions than the ecosystems of the Chukchi and the Beaufort Seas. Based on our initial results, we have determined that the annual mean for Ωarag will pass below the current range of natural variability in 2025 for the Beaufort Sea and 2027 for the Chukchi Sea. Because of the higher range of natural variability, the annual mean for Ωarag for the Bering Sea does not pass out of the natural variability range until 2044. As Ωarag in these shelf seas slips below the present-day range of large seasonal variability by mid-century, the diverse ecosystems that support some of the largest commercial and subsistence fisheries in the world may be under tremendous pressure.