State and trends of physical and chemical processes

This assessment summary has changed in 2016

  • The new 2016 assessment summary combines ecological processes, physical & chemical processes and pests, introduced species. diseases and algal blooms
Component
Summary
Grade
Very poor Poor Good Very good
Confidence
In Grade In Trend
Comparability
To previous years

Significant changes in dynamics of currents in the south-east, and changes are increasing

Year(s): 
2011
4
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Wind patterns are changing in the south-west and south-east, affecting ocean ecosystems

Year(s): 
2011
4
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Substantial changes to sediment input regimes in the south-east

Year(s): 
2011
3
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Inshore water turbidity, transparency and colour

This assessment summary component has changed in 2016. 

  • The assessment title was revised to maintain distinction between coastal and marine environments for the purposes of the report.
  • This component is now included in a different summary

Substantial changes to inshore water conditions and processes in the south-east

Year(s): 
2011
4
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Significant changes in all regions, and changes are increasing

Year(s): 
2011
3
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Significant changes in the south-west and south-east, and changes are increasing

Year(s): 
2011
4
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Major changes in land-based nutrient inputs in the south-east

Year(s): 
2011
4
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Significant changes in ocean-based nutrients in the south-east

Year(s): 
2011
4
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Major changes in freshwater inflows in the south-west and south-east

Year(s): 
2011
3
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Toxins, pesticides, herbicides

This assessment summary component has changed in 2016.  It is now reported on under Pressures

  • Toxins, pesticides, herbicides can be regarded as pressures impacting the marine environment. The assessment for Toxins, pesticides, herbicides has been moved to the Pressures affecting the marine environment section of the report.

Significant changes in the south-west and south-east

Year(s): 
2011
4
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Dumped wastes

This assessment summary component has changed in 2016. It is now reported on under Pressures.

  • Dumped wastes can be regarded as pressures impacting the marine environment. The assessment for Dumped wastes has been moved to the Pressures affecting the marine environment section of the report.

Significant issues with dumped wastes in the east and south-east

Year(s): 
2011
4
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Ocean acidity

This assessment summary component has changed in 2016. It is now reported on under Pressures and the component title changed

  • Many components identified as physical and chemical processes in SoE 2011 are collectively presented under impacts associated with the pressure of climate change in SoE 2016. This is because many of the changes being observed in these components during the SoE reporting period are the direct result of changes occurring as a result of climate change. Sea temperature is included in the Climate change - ocean acidification assessment in the Pressures affecting the marine environment section of the report.

Acidification is a significant risk in all regions, although only limited evidence of change to date

Year(s): 
2011
4
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Ocean salinity

This assessment summary component has changed in 2016.

  • Many components identified as physical and chemical processes in SoE 2011 are collectively presented under impacts associated with the pressure of climate change in SoE 2016. This is because many of the changes being observed in these components during the SoE reporting period are the direct result of changes occurring as a result of climate change. Sea temperature is included in the Climate change - ocean salinity assessment in the Pressures affecting the marine environment section of the report.

This component is now included in a different summary

 

Significant changes evident in the south-east

Year(s): 
2011
4
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Low oxygen—dead zones

This assessment summary component has changed in 2016. 

  • Many components identified as physical and chemical processes in SoE 2011 are collectively presented under impacts associated with the pressure of climate change in SoE 2016. This is because many of the changes being observed in these components during the SoE reporting period are the direct result of changes occurring as a result of climate change. Sea temperature is included in the Climate change - dissolved oxygen and oxygen minimum zones assessment in the Pressures affecting the marine environment section of the report.

Each region has one or more examples, and these have major or extreme local impacts, but limited regional consequences

Year(s): 
2011
4
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Assessed 13 regional features; impacts on river discharges in the east and changes to the East Australian Current were assessed as major changes with significant impacts on ecosystem functions

Year(s): 
2011
4
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed
Ward T (2011). Marine environment: State and trends of physical and chemical processes. In: Australia state of the environment 2011, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra, https://soe.environment.gov.au/assessment-summary-64-state-and-trends-physical-and-chemical-processes, DOI 10.4226/94/58b657ea7c296