The Mediterranean Sea Regime Shift at the End of the 1980s, and Intriguing Parallelisms with Other European Basins

Conversi, A; Fonda, US; Peluso, T; Molinero, JC; Santojanni, A; Edwards, M. 2010 The Mediterranean Sea Regime Shift at the End of the 1980s, and Intriguing Parallelisms with Other European Basins. PLoS one, 5 (5). e10633.

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Abstract/Summary

Regime shifts are abrupt changes encompassing a multitude of physical properties and ecosystem variables, which lead to new regime conditions. Recent investigations focus on the changes in ecosystem diversity and functioning associated to such shifts. Of particular interest, because of the implication on climate drivers, are shifts that occur synchronously in separated basins. In this work we analyze and review long-term records of Mediterranean ecological and hydro-climate variables and find that all point to a synchronous change in the late 1980s. A quantitative synthesis of the literature (including observed oceanic data, models and satellite analyses) shows that these years mark a major change in Mediterranean hydrographic properties, surface circulation, and deep water convection (the Eastern Mediterranean Transient). We provide novel analyses that link local, regional and basin scale hydrological properties with two major indicators of large scale climate, the North Atlantic Oscillation index and the Northern Hemisphere Temperature index, suggesting that the Mediterranean shift is part of a large scale change in the Northern Hemisphere. We provide a simplified scheme of the different effects of climate vs. temperature on pelagic ecosystems.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Depositing User: Miss Gemma Brice
Date made live: 26 Mar 2014 14:09
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2017 17:56
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/5702

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