Steric sea level rise over the Mediterranean Sea: present climate and scenario simulations

Carillo, A.; Sannino, G.; Artale, V.; Ruti, P.; Calmanti, S.; Dell'Aquila, A.
November 2012
Climate Dynamics;Nov2012, Vol. 39 Issue 9/10, p2167
Academic Journal
A regional atmosphere-ocean coupled model has been used to estimate sea level rise in the Mediterranean basin under present and future conditions. A present climate simulation has been forced by ERA40 reanalysis covering the period 1958-2001. Moreover a simulation has been forced by the global coupled model ECHAM5-MPIOM under present climate conditions for the period 1951-2000. Two other 50-year simulations have been performed under the SRESA1B scenario for the twenty-first century and differ only in temperature and salinity profiles used to relax the ocean model in the Atlantic buffer zone. The present climate simulation has been verified in terms of temperature, salinity and sea level against observed data, showing good performances both in mean values and variability over the whole Mediterranean Sea and over different sub-basins. The future scenario simulations show that the steric sea level averaged over the entire basin rises of about 2 or 7 cm in 50 years depending on the Atlantic boundary conditions. The difference of about 1 °C and 0.5 psu in the upper layers of the Atlantic sea reflects mainly on the halosteric component that contributes negatively to the sea level rise, when fresher and colder boundary conditions are used in the Atlantic buffer zone, and positively in the other case. The impact of the boundary conditions is not uniform in the basin and is particularly strong in some easternmost regions.


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