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Impact of global change on coastal hypoxia
Meire, L. (2011). Impact of global change on coastal hypoxia. MSc Thesis. Universiteit Gent; MARELAC: Gent. 53 pp.

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Document type: Dissertation


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    Coastal hypoxia, that is the depletion of oxygen concentration in coastal waters, is becoming more prominent on a global scale. Changes in climate forcings and nutrient loadings are two aspects of global change that are expected to profoundly impact coastal hypoxia. We have investigated the role of the different drivers on the evolution of hypoxia in a temperate coastal system using a one-dimensional mathematical model. The model couples three submodels: a model calculating the physical characteristics, a pelagic ecosystem model, and a benthic diagenetic model. The model is calibrated for the Oyster Grounds (North Sea) but the model approach is coastal ecosytems. Our results indicate that the projected changes in climatological conditions for the North Sea over the next 100 years (increasing temperature) will increase the risk of hypoxia. On average the oxygen concentration is predicted to decrease by 17 µM, mostly due to reduced solubility at higher water temperature. Nutrient loadings also have a strong effect on the occurrence of hypoxia. Increasing nutrient concentration strongly increase the probability of a hypoxic events, stressing the importance of continued extensive eutrophication management.

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