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  • Marcos, M. and M.N. Tsimplis, Comparison of results of AOGCMs in the Mediterranean Sea during the 21st century. J. Geophys. Res.. Submitted.

The outputs of 12 Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Models (AOGCMs) in the Mediterranean Sea are used to examine temperature (T), salinity (S) and sea level changes for the 21st century under three different climate scenarios, namely, committed climate change, SRES A1B and SRES A2. It is important for policy making to downscale the knowledge derived from global models to smaller areas. However this is a non-trivial task for the Mediterranean Sea, a semi-enclosed basin connected to the North Atlantic Ocean through the Strait of Gibraltar. Warming and salinification are predicted to occur in the basin. The effect of T increases is translated into a thermosteric sea level rise between 3 and 61 cm in average over the basin. Under A1B and A2 scenarios, thermosteric sea level rise is accelerated, doubling the rates of change by the end of this century with respect to the first decade. Under the committed climate change scenario the thermosteric sea level, although increasing, is decelerated during the 21st century. In the Mediterranean S has a large impact in sea level changes and the projections of steric sea level range between -22 and 31 cm. The contribution of future atmospheric pressure changes on sea level in the Mediterranean Sea is only a reduction of up to 0.6 cm. The 20th century model runs indicate that low frequency variability is smaller than that observed. The spatial patterns of steric sea level change are not consistent amongst the AOGCMs in the Mediterranean Sea.

Last Updated: 2008-08-25

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