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      Compounding impact of severe weather events fuels marine heatwave in the coastal ocean

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          Abstract

          Exposure to extreme events is a major concern in coastal regions where growing human populations and stressed natural ecosystems are at significant risk to such phenomena. However, the complex sequence of processes that transform an event from notable to extreme can be challenging to identify and hence, limit forecast abilities. Here, we show an extreme heat content event (i.e., a marine heatwave) in coastal waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico resulted from compounding effects of a tropical storm followed by an atmospheric heatwave. This newly identified process of generating extreme ocean temperatures occurred prior to landfall of Hurricane Michael during October of 2018 and, as critical contributor to storm intensity, likely contributed to the subsequent extreme hurricane. This pattern of compounding processes will also exacerbate other environmental problems in temperature-sensitive ecosystems (e.g., coral bleaching, hypoxia) and is expected to have expanding impacts under global warming predictions.

          Abstract

          Exposure to extreme events is a major concern in coastal regions where human populations and stressed ecosystems are at risk to such phenomena. Here the authors show a marine heatwave on the continental shelf resulted from a novel set of compounding effects due to a tropical storm followed by an atmospheric heatwave.

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          Most cited references 40

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          Impacts of Extreme Weather and Climate on Terrestrial Biota*

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            A hierarchical approach to defining marine heatwaves

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              Environmental Control of Tropical Cyclone Intensity

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                briandz@disl.org
                Journal
                Nat Commun
                Nat Commun
                Nature Communications
                Nature Publishing Group UK (London )
                2041-1723
                22 September 2020
                22 September 2020
                2020
                : 11
                Affiliations
                [1 ]GRID grid.267153.4, ISNI 0000 0000 9552 1255, University of South Alabama, ; Mobile, AL 36688 USA
                [2 ]GRID grid.287582.2, ISNI 0000 0000 9413 8991, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, ; Dauphin Island, AL 36528 USA
                [3 ]GRID grid.211367.0, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, ; Pasadena, CA 91109 USA
                [4 ]GRID grid.264764.5, Texas A&M University at Galveston, ; Galveston, TX 77554 USA
                [5 ]GRID grid.56466.37, ISNI 0000 0004 0504 7510, Present Address: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, ; Woods Hole, MA 02543 USA
                Article
                18339
                10.1038/s41467-020-18339-2
                7508827
                32963230
                © The Author(s) 2020

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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                © The Author(s) 2020

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                ocean sciences, physical oceanography, environmental impact, natural hazards

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