Mediterranean sea surface temperature rise in the period 1985-2008

Y. Samuel-Rhoads, G. Zodiatis, D. Hayes, G. Georgiou

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Increases in sea surface temperatures (SSTs) have been reported to occur globally over the past two decades. Here we analyze SST records from satellite data for the period 1985-2008 for the entire Mediterranean Sea, the eastern and western basins separately, and the Levantine Sub-basin. We show that the entire Mediterranean has undergone an increase in SSTs with a levelling-off observed in the second half of the record. This warming is almost double that of the global oceans. The variability is characterized by a broad, basin-wide decadal warming and a weaker dipole pattern that fluctuates at interannual time scales, as depicted by empirical orthogonal function analysis. At a basin level, SSTs in the Eastern, Western and the Levantine have also increased at interannual and seasonal scales. The driving mechanisms of these changes need to be investigated, as they may be driven by changes in annual latent heat losses and by the variability in regional wind speeds. It will be valuable to investigate future trends in SSTs to determine whether the observed patterns represent a continued pattern of persistent warming or a new direction for the Mediterranean Sea.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 9th International Conference on the Mediterranean Coastal Environment, MEDCOAST 2009
PublisherMiddle East Technical University
Pages1017-1028
Number of pages12
Volume2
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Event9th International Conference on the Mediterranean Coastal Environment, MEDCOAST 2009 - Sochi, Russian Federation
Duration: 10 Nov 200914 Nov 2009

Other

Other9th International Conference on the Mediterranean Coastal Environment, MEDCOAST 2009
CountryRussian Federation
CitySochi
Period10/11/0914/11/09

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  • Cite this

    Samuel-Rhoads, Y., Zodiatis, G., Hayes, D., & Georgiou, G. (2009). Mediterranean sea surface temperature rise in the period 1985-2008. In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on the Mediterranean Coastal Environment, MEDCOAST 2009 (Vol. 2, pp. 1017-1028). Middle East Technical University.