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Kahru, M, Jacox MG, Ohman MD.  2018.  CCE1: Decrease in the frequency of oceanic fronts and surface chlorophyll concentration in the California Current System during the 2014-2016 northeast Pacific warm anomalies. Deep-Sea Research Part I-Oceanographic Research Papers. 140:4-13.   10.1016/j.dsr.2018.04.007   AbstractWebsite

Oceanic fronts are sites of increased vertical exchange that are often associated with increased primary productivity, downward flux of organic carbon, and aggregation of plankton and higher trophic levels. Given the influence of fronts on the functioning of marine ecosystems, an improved understanding of the spatial and temporal variability of frontal activity is desirable. Here, we document changes in the frequency of sea-surface fronts and the surface concentration of chlorophyll-a (Chla) in the California Current System that occurred during the Northeast Pacific anomalous warming of 2014-2015 and El Nino of 2015-2016, and place those anomalies in the context of two decades of variability. Frontal frequency was detected with the automated histogram method using datasets of sea-surface temperature (SST) and Chla from multiple satellite sensors. During the anomalous 2014-2016 period, a drop in the frequency of fronts coincided with the largest negative Chla anomalies and positive SST anomalies in the whole period of satellite observations (1997-2017 for Chla and 1982-2017 for SST). These recent reductions in frontal frequency ran counter to a previously reported increasing trend, though it remains to be seen if they represent brief interruptions in that trend or a reversal that will persist going forward.

Kahru, M, Elmgren R, Savchuk OP.  2016.  Changing seasonality of the Baltic Sea. Biogeosciences. 13:1009-1018.   10.5194/bg-13-1009-2016   AbstractWebsite

Changes in the phenology of physical and ecological variables associated with climate change are likely to have significant effect on many aspects of the Baltic ecosystem. We apply a set of phenological indicators to multiple environmental variables measured by satellite sensors for 17-36 years to detect possible changes in the seasonality in the Baltic Sea environment. We detect significant temporal changes, such as earlier start of the summer season and prolongation of the productive season, in several variables ranging from basic physical drivers to ecological status indicators. While increasing trends in the absolute values of variables like sea-surface temperature (SST), diffuse attenuation of light (Ked490) and satellite-detected chlorophyll concentration (CHL) are detectable, the corresponding changes in their seasonal cycles are more dramatic. For example, the cumulative sum of 30 000 W m(-2) of surface incoming short-wave irradiance (SIS) was reached 23 days earlier in 2014 compared to the beginning of the time series in 1983. The period of the year with SST of at least 17 degrees C has almost doubled (from 29 days in 1982 to 56 days in 2014), and the period with Ked490 over 0.4 m(1) has increased from about 60 days in 1998 to 240 days in 2013 -i.e., quadrupled. The period with satellite-estimated CHL of at least 3 mg m(-3) has doubled from approximately 110 days in 1998 to 220 days in 2013. While the timing of both the phytoplankton spring and summer blooms have advanced, the annual CHL maximum that in the 1980s corresponded to the spring diatom bloom in May has now shifted to the summer cyanobacteria bloom in July.

Kahru, M, Kudela R, Manzano-Sarabia M, Mitchell BG.  2009.  Trends in primary production in the California Current detected with satellite data. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 114   10.1029/2008jc004979   AbstractWebsite

Several ocean primary production algorithms using satellite data were evaluated on a large archive of net primary production (NPP) and chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) measurements collected by the California Cooperative Fisheries Investigations program in the California Current. The best algorithm matching in situ data was found by empirically adjusting the Behrenfeld-Falkowski Vertically Generalized Production Model. Satellite-derived time series of NPP were calculated for the California Current area. Significant increase in NPP and Chl-a annual peak levels, i.e., the "bloom magnitude,'' were found along the coasts of the California Current as well as other major eastern boundary currents for the period of modern ocean color data (1997-2007). The reasons for this increase are not clear but are associated with various environmental conditions.

Lluch-Cota, SE, Aragon-Noriega EA, Arreguin-Sanchez F, Aurioles-Gamboa D, Bautista-Romero JJ, Brusca RC, Cervantes-Duarte R, Cortes-Altamirano R, Del-Monte-Luna P, Esquivel-Herrera A, Fernandez G, Hendrickx ME, Hernandez-Vazquez S, Herrera-Cervantes H, Kahru M, Lavin M, Lluch-Belda D, Lluch-Cota DB, Lopez-Martinez J, Marinone SG, Nevarez-Martinez MO, Ortega-Garcia S, Palacios-Castro E, Pares-Sierra A, Ponce-Diaz G, Ramirez-Rodriguez M, Salinas-Zavala CA, Schwartzlose RA, Sierra-Beltran AP.  2007.  The Gulf of California: Review of ecosystem status and sustainability challenges. Progress in Oceanography. 73:1-26.   10.1016/j.pocean.2007.01.013   AbstractWebsite

The Gulf of California is unique because of its geographical location and conformation. It hosts diverse ecosystems and important fisheries that support industry and provide livelihood to coastal settlements. It is also the site of interests and problems, and an intense interaction among managers, producers, and conservationists. In this report, we scrutinize the abiotic (hydrography, climate, ocean circulation, and chemistry) and biotic (phyto- and zooplankton, fish, invertebrates, marine mammals, birds, and turtles) components of the marine ecosystem, and some particular aspects of climate variability, endemisms, harmful algal blooms, oxygen minimum layer, and pollution. We also review the current conditions and conflicts around the main fisheries (shrimp, small and large pelagic fishes, squid, artisanal and sportfishing), the most important human activity in the Gulf of California. We cover some aspects of management and conservation of fisheries, especially the claimed overexploitation of fish resources and the ecosystems, and review proposals for creating networks of marine protected areas. We conclude by identifying main needs for information and research, particularly the integration of data bases, the implementation of models and paleoreconstructions, establishment of monitoring programs, and the evaluation of fishing impacts and management actions. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.