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Climate projections show human health impacts possible within 30 years
Date:2/19/2011

fishery is closed, threatening the vitality of the $108 million shellfish industry in Washington state.

"Changes in the harmful algal bloom season appear to be imminent and we expect a significant increase in Puget Sound and similar at-risk environments within 30 years, possibly by the next decade," said Moore. "Our projections indicate that by the end of the 21st century, blooms may begin up to two months earlier in the year and persist for one month later compared to the present-day time period of July to October."

Natural climate variability also plays a role in the length of the bloom season from one year to the next. Thus, in any single year, the change in bloom season could be more or less severe than implied by the long-term warming trend from climate change.

Moore and the research team indicate that the extended lead time offered by these projections will allow managers to put mitigation measures in place and sharpen their targets for monitoring to more quickly and effectively open and close shellfish beds instead of issuing a blanket closure for a larger swath of coast or be caught off guard by an unexpected bloom. The same model can be applied to other coastal areas around the world increasingly affected by harmful algal blooms and improve protection of human health against toxic outbreaks.

More atmospheric dust from global desertification could lead to increases of harmful bacteria in oceans, seafood

Researchers at the University of Georgia, a NOAA Oceans and Human Health Initiative Consortium for Graduate Training site, looked at how global desertification -- and the resulting increase in atmospheric dust based on some climate change scenarios -- could fuel the presence of harmful bacteria in the ocean and seafood.

Desert dust deposition from the atmosphere is considered one of the main contributors of iron in the ocean, has increased over the last 30 years and is expected to rise
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Contact: John Ewald
john.ewald@noaa.gov
240-429-6127
NOAA Headquarters
Source:Eurekalert

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