Sea level forcing in the Mediterranean Sea between 1960 and 2000

Tsimplis, Michael; Marcos, Marta; Somot, Samuel; Barnier, Bernard. 2008 Sea level forcing in the Mediterranean Sea between 1960 and 2000. Global and Planetary Change, 63 (4). 325-332.

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Sea level trends and inter-annual variability in the Mediterranean Sea for the period 1960–2000 is explored by comparing observations from tide gauges with sea level hindcasts from a barotropic 2D circulation model, and two full primitive equation 3D ocean circulation models, a regional one and the Mediterranean component of a global one,. In the 2D model, 50% of the sea level variance was found to result from the wind and atmospheric pressure forcing. In the 3D models, 20% of the sea level variance was explained by the steric effects. The sea level residuals at the tide gauges locations, calculated by subtraction of the 2D model output from the sea level observations are significantly correlated (r = 0.4) with the steric signals from the 3D models. After the removal of the atmospheric and the steric contributions the tide-gauge sea level records indicate a period where sea level was stable (1960–1975) and a period where sea level was rising (1975–2000) with rates in the range 1.1–1.8 mm/yr. A part of the residual trend can be explained by the contribution of local land movements (0.3 mm/yr) while its major part indicates a global signal, probably mass addition, appearing after 1975.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 0921-8181
Additional Keywords: sea level; Mediterranean Sea; modelling; atmospheric contribution; steric effect
Date made live: 23 Oct 2008 +0 (UTC)

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