Geophysical Research Letters

Future climate change and upwelling in the California Current



[1] Observations show that wind-driven upwelling along the California coast has increased over the past 30 years. Some have postulated that the increase in wind-driven upwelling is due largely to increased greenhouse gas forcing, but such an association has been speculative. Since global and regional simulations of future wind-driven upwelling do not exist for the California coast, we used a regional climate model (RCM) to estimate changes in wind-driven upwelling under increased CO2 concentrations. Here we show in both equilibrium and transient climate experiments that there is an intensified upwelling season, with some changes in seasonality of upwelling. This intensification may lead to enhanced productivity along the coast of California and possibly ameliorate increases in sea surface temperature due to greenhouse gas forcing.