USGS researchers publish paper on Florida estuary acidification using 20+ years of data from shellfish industry

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A new article compairs pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and salinity data from 10 Florida shellfish estuaries and shellfish bed stations.

USGS researchers Lisa L. Robbins (retired) and John T. Lisle (Research Microbiologist) published an article, 'Regional Acidification Trends in Florida Shellfish Estuaries: a 20+ Year Look at pH, Oxygen, Temperature, and Salinity,' in Estuaries and Coasts. In the article pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and salinity data from 10 Florida shellfish estuaries and shellfish bed stations are compared. Over 80,000 measurements, spanning from 1980 to 2008, taken on Atlantic Ocean and West Florida coast sites showed significant regional trends of consistent pH decreases in 8 of 10 estuaries. Other significant trends include decreasing dissolved oxygen in 9 of 10 estuaries, increasing salinity in 6 of 10, and temperature increases in 3 of 10 estuaries. The data provide a synoptic view of Florida estuary trends, which reflect the complexity of changing climate and coastal ocean acidification. These data provide context for understanding, and interpreting the past and predicting future of regional water quality health of shellfish and other organisms of commercial and ecological significance along Florida's coasts.

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