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Ocean Processes

ComponentsState in Scottish Seas
Sea temperatureSea surface temperature is increasing. The rate of increase over the
period 1985 - 2009 has been generally greater than 0.2°C per decade.
Sea levelThe average long-term UK trend in mean sea level is estimated as 1.4
mm/year. However the rise is not steady. For example, in the 1990s sea
level rose by 3 to 4 mm per year. Rising sea levels adversely affect the
low-lying parts of the coast which are vulnerable to flooding and erosion.
Ocean acidificationSince the industrial revolution, the CO2 absorbed by the oceans has
resulted in a decrease in pH of 0.1 units but there are currently no
baseline measurements of ocean acidity against which changes in Scottish
and wider UK waters can be judged.
Circulation, suspended particulate matter, turbidity, salinity, wavesThese processes vary on timescales from a day to years but have shown no significant trend over the past decade, except for a slight increase in salinity in the northern parts of Scottish seas.