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 Northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOM) Ecosystem Change and Hazard Susceptibility

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Task 3: Decadal - Century Scale Evolution of Northern Gulf Coast Climate, Ecosystems, and Landforms

Task Leader: Richard Poore - USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center, St. Petersburg, Florida

Task 3 Goals

Photograph of the shell of Globigerinoides ruber
Photograph of the shell of Globigerinoides ruber, a planktic foraminifer common in surface waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Analyses of isotopic and chemical variation in G. ruber found in sediment cores recovered from the Gulf of Mexico are often used to monitor past sea surface conditions.

Climate and environmental changes in the northern Gulf Coast today are driven by a complex combination of natural and anthropogenic factors. Establishing the decadal to century scale climate record for the northern Gulf Coast during the recent geologic past (~ last 1,000 years) is required baseline information to estimate the likely natural variability that will occur in the next century and help identify future changes that might be linked to anthropogenic factors rather than natural variability. 

In addition, detailed documentation and understanding of changes in key environments such as estuaries, marshes and barrier islands over the last 50 to 100 years are needed to establish the modern rates of changes and identify processes both human and natural that are causing the changes.


Task 3 Objectives

The objectives of this task are to:

  • Establish the record of decadal to century scale record of climate change and variability for the northern Gulf Coast for the last ~ 1,000 years
  • Document change and processes in key coastal environments over the last 50 to 100 years

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Page Last Modified: Friday, May 14, 2010 @ 12:24 PM  (RJT)