Study First to Show Biological Impact of Atmospheric Rivers
Amospheric rivers contributed to a mass die-off of wild Olympia oysters in north San Francisco Bay in 2011, according to a study led by the University of California, Davis and the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, or NERR.
The study, published Dec. 14 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, is the first to document biological impacts of atmospheric rivers, which are predicted to increase in frequency and intensity under future climate change.
“This shows us one way in which extreme events might affect coastal ecosystems,” said lead author Brian Cheng, a UC Davis doctoral candidate and NERR graduate research fellow at the time of the study. “Oysters can help buffer shorelines and enhance biodiversity, but this is one facet of climate change that might be a hurdle for oyster restoration efforts in San Francisco Bay.”
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