Sea surface salinity

Ocean salinity is declining globally, along the BC coast, and within the MaPP region [82]. Freshwater discharge from glaciers is a significant contributor to the nearshore waters of BC. Coastal runoff contributes to maintaining the salinity levels along the coast, driven by glaciers, as well as watersheds driven by fall and winter seasonal precipitation. Large river systems (Fraser River, Naas River, Skeena River) also drain large watersheds and experience pronounced spring freshets. Coastal salinity levels are controlled mainly by these processes at the local scale rather than large-scale climate changes [55]. Salinity effects also influence total sea level rise through ocean expansion through global ocean warming [32,83,84].

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