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Mediterranean sea water budget long-term trend inferred from salinity observations

Mediterranean sea water budget long-term trend inferred from salinity observations
Mediterranean sea water budget long-term trend inferred from salinity observations
Changes in the Mediterranean water cycle since 1950 are investigated using salinity and reanalysis based air–sea freshwater flux datasets. Salinity observations indicate a strong basin-scale multi-decadal salinification, particularly in the intermediate and deep layers. Evaporation, precipitation and river runoff variations are all shown to contribute to a very strong increase in net evaporation of order 20–30%. While large temporal uncertainties and discrepancies are found between E–P multi-decadal trend patterns in the reanalysis datasets, a more robust and spatially coherent structure of multi-decadal change is obtained for the salinity field. Salinity change implies an increase in net evaporation of ~ 8 to 12% over 1950–2010, which is considerably lower than that suggested by air–sea freshwater flux products, but still largely exceeding estimates of global water cycle amplification. A new method based on water mass transformation theory is used to link changes in net evaporation over the Mediterranean Sea with changes in the volumetric distribution of salinity. The water mass transformation distribution in salinity coordinates suggests that the Mediterranean basin salinification is driven by changes in the regional water cycle rather than changes in salt transports at the straits.
0930-7575
2857-2876
Skliris, Nikolaos
07af7484-2e14-49aa-9cd3-1979ea9b064e
Zika, Jan
1843cce7-77ce-4ef6-9f79-bcf4f9db30e5
Herold, Leo Alexander
b861bdc9-5673-4298-8436-ce3e5555ed2f
Josey, Simon
2252ab7f-5cd2-49fd-a951-aece44553d93
Marsh, Robert
702c2e7e-ac19-4019-abd9-a8614ab27717
Skliris, Nikolaos
07af7484-2e14-49aa-9cd3-1979ea9b064e
Zika, Jan
1843cce7-77ce-4ef6-9f79-bcf4f9db30e5
Herold, Leo Alexander
b861bdc9-5673-4298-8436-ce3e5555ed2f
Josey, Simon
2252ab7f-5cd2-49fd-a951-aece44553d93
Marsh, Robert
702c2e7e-ac19-4019-abd9-a8614ab27717

Skliris, Nikolaos, Zika, Jan, Herold, Leo Alexander, Josey, Simon and Marsh, Robert (2018) Mediterranean sea water budget long-term trend inferred from salinity observations. Climate Dynamics, 51, 2857-2876. (doi:10.1007/s00382-017-4053-7).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Changes in the Mediterranean water cycle since 1950 are investigated using salinity and reanalysis based air–sea freshwater flux datasets. Salinity observations indicate a strong basin-scale multi-decadal salinification, particularly in the intermediate and deep layers. Evaporation, precipitation and river runoff variations are all shown to contribute to a very strong increase in net evaporation of order 20–30%. While large temporal uncertainties and discrepancies are found between E–P multi-decadal trend patterns in the reanalysis datasets, a more robust and spatially coherent structure of multi-decadal change is obtained for the salinity field. Salinity change implies an increase in net evaporation of ~ 8 to 12% over 1950–2010, which is considerably lower than that suggested by air–sea freshwater flux products, but still largely exceeding estimates of global water cycle amplification. A new method based on water mass transformation theory is used to link changes in net evaporation over the Mediterranean Sea with changes in the volumetric distribution of salinity. The water mass transformation distribution in salinity coordinates suggests that the Mediterranean basin salinification is driven by changes in the regional water cycle rather than changes in salt transports at the straits.

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Accepted/In Press date: 14 December 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 10 January 2018
Published date: October 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 416819
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/416819
ISSN: 0930-7575
PURE UUID: 4f6ef183-1c35-4efe-b1c5-14caa89b5bf4

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Date deposited: 11 Jan 2018 17:30
Last modified: 06 Oct 2020 16:51

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