A Review of Hypoxia in the Chesapeake Bay Under Climate Change
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The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States, with high ecological and economic values. However, hypoxia occurs in the Chesapeake Bay every summer and threatens the ecosystem of the Bay. The seasonal hypoxia in the Chesapeake Bay is caused by the organic matter decompositions, intensive water stratification, and other biological and physical factors/processes. Under the stress of global climate change, Chesapeake Bay will likely experience severer hypoxia in the future. This case is because climate change affects water temperature, sea level, precipitation, river discharge, and wind strength, and consequently impacts the formation of hypoxia in the Bay. Most of the previous studies explore the effects of climate change on hypoxia in the Chesapeake Bay through qualitative discussions. Few of them quantified and predicted the impacts. This paper attempts to provide recommendations for further studies to quantify and predict the effects of climate change on hypoxia in the Bay. For further studies, it is recommended to use hydrodynamic-biogeochemical models and multimodel climate projections. More studies are needed for investigating the impacts of sea-level rise on hypoxia in the Bay and the wind changes caused by climate change. Studies could explore the effects of climate change from both hypoxic volume and hypoxic duration. Moreover, studies could take atmospheric dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) and coastal DIN as variables into consideration to study the impacts of climate change. More studies are needed for understanding, quantifying, and predicting the impacts of climate change on hypoxia in the Chesapeake Bay, which will help to improve the management of Chesapeake Bay.