Publications

Impacts of climate variability and future climate change on harmful algal blooms and human health

Citation

Moore, S.K., Trainer, V.L., Mantua, N.J., Parker, D., Laws, E.A., Backer, L.C., Fleming, L.E. 2008. Impacts of climate variability and future climate change on harmful algal blooms and human health. Environmental Health 7(Suppl 2): S4, doi:10.1186/1476-069X-7-S2-S4.


Abstract

Anthropogenically-derived increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations have been implicated in recent climate change, and are projected to substantially impact the climate on a global scale in the future. For marine and freshwater systems, increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases are expected to increase surface temperatures, lower pH, and cause changes to vertical mixing, upwelling, precipitation, and evaporation patterns. The potential consequences of these changes for harmful algal blooms (HABs) have received relatively little attention and are not well understood. Given the apparent increase in HABs around the world and the potential for greater problems as a result of climate change and ocean acidification, substantial research is needed to evaluate the direct and indirect associations between HABs, climate change, ocean acidification, and human health. This research will require a multidisciplinary approach utilizing expertise in climatology, oceanography, biology, epidemiology, and other disciplines. We review the interactions between selected patterns of large-scale climate variability and climate change, oceanic conditions, and harmful algae.