Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2021-37
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2021-37

  07 Jun 2021

07 Jun 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESD.

Climate change signal in the ocean circulation of the Tyrrhenian Sea

Alba de la Vara1,2, Iván Parras-Berrocal3, Alfredo Izquierdo3, Dmitry Sein4,5, and William Cabos6 Alba de la Vara et al.
  • 1Environmental Sciences Institute, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Avenida Carlos III s/n, 45071, Toledo, Spain
  • 2Departamento de Matemática Aplicada a la Ingeniería Industrial, E.T.S.I. Industriales, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, c/ José Gutiérrez Abascal, 2, 28006 Madrid, Spain
  • 3Department of Applied Physics, Faculty of Marine and Environmental Sciences, Marine Research Institute (INMAR), International Campus of Excellence of the Sea (CEI·MAR), University of Cadiz, Puerto Real, 11510 Cadiz, Spain
  • 4Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 5P. P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology RAS, Moscow, Russia
  • 6Departmento de Física y Matemáticas, Universidad de Alcalá, Madrid, 28801, Spain

Abstract. The Tyrrhenian Sea plays an important role in the winter deep water formation in the North Western Mediterranean through the water that enters the Ligurian Sea via the Corsica Channel. Therefore, the study of the impact of the changes in the future climate on the Tyrrhenian circulation and its consequences represents an important issue. Furthermore, the seasonally-dependent, rich in dynamical mesoscale structures, Tyrrhenian circulation is dominated by the interplay of local climate and the basin-wide Mediterranean circulation via the water transport across its major straits and an adequate representation of its features represents an important modeling challenge. In this work we examine with a regionally-coupled atmosphere-ocean model the changes in the Tyrrhenian circulation by the end of the 21st century under the RCP8.5 emission scenario, their driving mechanisms, as well as their possible impact on winter convection in the NW Mediterranean. Our model successfully reproduces the main features of the Mediterranean Sea and Tyrrhenian basin present-day circulation. We find that toward the end of the century the winter cyclonic, along-slope stream around the Tyrrhenian basin becomes weaker. This weakening increases the wind work transferred to the mesoscale structures, which become more intense than at present in winter and summer. We also find that, in the future, the northward water transport across the Corsica Channel towards the Liguro-Provençal basin becomes smaller than today. Also, water that flows through this channel presents a stronger stratification because of a generalized warming with a saltening of intermediate waters. Both factors may contribute to the interruption of deep water formation in the Gulf of Lions by the end of the century.

Alba de la Vara et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on esd-2021-37', Anonymous Referee #1, 01 Jul 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on esd-2021-37', Anonymous Referee #2, 03 Jul 2021

Alba de la Vara et al.

Alba de la Vara et al.

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Short summary
We study with the regionally-coupled climate model ROM the impact of climate change on the Tyrrhenian Sea circulation, as well as the possible mechanisms and consequences in the NW Mediterranean Sea. Our results show a shift towards the summer circulation pattern by the end of the century. Also, water flowing via the Corsica Channel is more stratified and smaller in volume. Both factors may contribute to the interruption of deep water formation in the Gulf of Lions in the future.
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