On the source of Mediterranean Overflow Water property changes
A recent study of the eastern North Atlantic detailed significant increases in the temperature and salinity of the Mediterranean Overflow Water (MOW) from 1950 to 2000. To examine the degree to which the source waters, which spill over the sill at the Strait of Gibraltar, could be responsible for these observations in the open Atlantic, a box model of water mass transformation by marginal seas was employed. Time series for the salinity of the inflowing North Atlantic surface waters, freshwater fluxes in the Mediterranean (evaporation and precipitation and river runoff), and the volumetric flow rates for the inflow and outflow across the Strait of Gibraltar were used to predict the salinity of the source waters to the North Atlantic from 1950 to 2000. Results from this calculation reveal that source water changes have minimal impact on MOW property changes on interannual and decadal time scales. It is suggested instead that circulation changes within the open Atlantic alter the advective-diffusive pathways of MOW such that property changes within the MOW reservoir are created. © 2009 American Meteorological Society.
Lozier, MS; Sindlinger, L
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)