4. What can we learn about Narragansett Bay by measuring water temperature?
Water temperature plays an important role in a variety of biologic processes. Many organisms in the Bay use temperature as a signal for their behavior. Some use water temperature as a signal for when to reproduce and others for when to migrate in and out of the Bay. When the temperatures get warmer in the spring and summer, many marine creatures increase their activity. Temperature can also affect how pollutants and toxic materials affect organisms.
Water temperature is vital information for understanding the physical processes of Narragansett Bay. Temperature can tell us about the water circulation and mixing in the Bay. Stratification of the water can happen when the surface water is much warmer than the bottom water.
The amount of dissolved oxygen the water is capable of holding is a function of temperature.