Science Summary-Stream temperature rising throughout the Chesapeake Bay region

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U.S. Geological Survey research, published in the journal Climatic Change

U.S. Geological Survey research, published in the journal Climatic Change

  • The majority of streams in the Chesapeake Bay region are warming, and that increase appears to be driven largely by rising air temperatures.
  • Water temperature has risen, on average, 1.4 degrees C (2.52 degrees F) between 1960 and 2010 in streams of the Chesapeake Bay region.

Implications for the bay and its watershed are:

  • Warming waters can cause an increase in eutrophication, which is the primary cause of fish kills each summer. Eutrophication (an overabundance of nutrients) has plagued the bay for decades and likely will increase as temperatures of waters contributing to the bay continue to rise. Reducing nutrients delivered to the bay is a major goal of the restoration effort.
  • Upstream waters will become less suitable for some cool-water fish species, such as brook trout. Brook trout is a key species for restoration in the bay watershed and in the eastern U.S.

More information:

 

 

Map of stream sites and temperature trends (1960-2010) in the Chesapeake Bay region

​​​​​​​Map of stream sites and temperature trends (1960-2010) in the Chesapeake Bay region. Red symbols indicate increasing trends and blue symbols decreasing trends. Solid and open symbols show trends that are statistically significant and not significant, respectively.

 

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