|TITLE||PROJECTIONS OF MEDITERRANEAN HEAT AND SALT CONTENT EVOLUTION DURING THE XXI CENTURY BASED ON MEDCORDEX AORCMS AND A SIMPLE BOX-MODEL|
|AUTHORS||D Gomis (1), J Soto-Navarro (1), G Jordà; (1)|
- IMEDEA (Universitat de les Illes Balears - CSIC), Mallorca, Spain
|ABSTRACT||The evolution of the heat and salt contents of the Mediterranean Sea can differ significantly among different ocean regional climate models. A key source of discrepancies is the differences in the forcing, either through the air-sea interface or through the lateral boundaries (Strait of Gibraltar, Dardanelles Strait and rivers). However, an additional source of discrepancies is how each model redistributes the heat and salt that is introduced in the system through the boundaries. This determines both the regional differences in heat and salt content and the long term evolution of the Mediterranean, especially if the heat and salt are transferred to depths where the residence time is very long (i.e. below the sills of the Strait of Gibraltar or the Sicily Channel).
In this presentation we will use outputs from the last generation of coupled atmosphere-ocean regional climate models (AORCMs) from the MedCORDEX initiative to characterize the main features of the heat and salt fluxes in the Mediterranean Sea and to project their evolution until 2100. The similarities and discrepancies in the heat and salt redistribution patterns of the different models will be described and tentative explanations based on differences in the forcings and/or model configurations will be developed. We also use the AORCMs results to set up and validate a simple box-model that accounts for the major features of the thermohaline circulation of the basin. The simplicity of the box model allows to easily check the major features of the long-term evolution of the basin under different forcings and different configurations for the heat and salt redistribution, as well as to assess the largest potential sources of uncertainty.|