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Ecological Forecasting - Chrysaora Climate Change Project

Development of an operational model for predicting the near real-time distribution and abundance of the scyphomedusae Chrysaora quinquecirra in Chesapeake Bay

(Yale University, lead, University of Maryland, Western Washington University, Chesapeake Bay Research Consortium, NOAA's Satellites and Information Cooperative Institute of Climate Studies, and NOAA's Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services)

This project will transition to operations a model that combines hydrodynamics with temperature and salinity distributions to predict the likelihood of occurrence of jellyfish and to incorporate these jellyfish distributions into Chesapeake Bay ecosystem models. Jellyfish are believed to be increasingly important in structuring coastal ecosystems such as the Chesapeake and may exert controlling influences on fish populations and energy flow processes via complex mechanisms.

Experimental daily nowcasts and 3-day forecasts of surface salinity, temperature and likelihood of encountering C. quinquecirrha in Chesapeake Bay are generated and staged daily for dissemination on the sea nettle WWW site for interested agencies and the public to view at http://chesapeakebay.noaa.gov/forecasting-sea-nettles.