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Modelling present and future climate in the Mediterranean Sea: a focus on sea-level change

TitleModelling present and future climate in the Mediterranean Sea: a focus on sea-level change
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsSannino, Gianmaria, Carillo Adriana, Iacono Roberto, Napolitano Ernesto, Palma M., Pisacane Giovanna, and Struglia Maria Vittoria
JournalClimate Dynamics
Pagination357 – 391
Type of ArticleArticle

We present results of three simulations of the Mediterranean Sea climate: a hindcast, a historical run, and a RCP8.5 scenario simulation reaching the year 2100. The simulations are performed with MED16, a new, tide-including implementation of the MITgcm model, which covers the Mediterranean—Black Sea system with a resolution of 1/16°, further increased at the Gibraltar and Turkish Straits. Validation of the hindcast simulation against observations and numerical reanalyses has given excellent results, proving that the model is also capable of reproducing near-shore sea level variations. Moreover, the spatial structure of the elevation field compares well with altimetric observations, especially in the Western basin, due to the use of improved sea level information at the Atlantic lateral boundary and to the adequate treatment of the complex, hydraulically driven dynamics across the Gibraltar Strait. Under the RCP8.5 future scenario, the temperature is projected to generally increase while the surface salinity decreases in the portion of the Mediterranean affected by the penetration of the Atlantic stream, and increases elsewhere. The warming of sea waters results in the partial inhibition of deep-water formation. The scenario simulation allows for a detailed characterization of the regional patterns of future sea level, arising from ocean dynamics, and indicates a relative sinking of the Mediterranean with respect to the Atlantic more pronounced than the current one. © 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


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Citation KeySannino2022