Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-3076
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-3076
03 Jan 2024
 | 03 Jan 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Internal and forced ocean variability in the Mediterranean Sea

Roberta Benincasa, Giovanni Liguori, Nadia Pinardi, and Hans von Storch

Abstract. Two types of variability are discernible in the ocean: a response to the atmospheric forcing and the so-called internal/intrinsic ocean variability, which is associated with internal instabilities, nonlinearities and the interactions between processes at different scales. Producing an ensemble of 20 multi-year ocean simulations of the Mediterranean Sea, initialized with realistic initial conditions, but using the same atmospheric forcing, the study examines the intrinsic variability in terms of its spatial distribution and seasonality. In general, the importance of the external forcing decreases with depth but dominates in extended shelves such as the Adriatic Sea and the Gulf of Gabes. In the case of temperature, the atmospheric forcing plays a major role in the uppermost 50 m of the water column during summer and the uppermost 100 m during winter. Additionally, intrinsic variability displays a distinct seasonal cycle in the surface layers, with a prominent maximum at around 30 m depth during the summer probably connected to the summer thermocline formation processes. Concerning current velocity, the internal variability has a significant influence at all depths.

Roberta Benincasa, Giovanni Liguori, Nadia Pinardi, and Hans von Storch

Status: open (until 25 Mar 2024)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-3076', Anonymous Referee #1, 04 Mar 2024 reply
Roberta Benincasa, Giovanni Liguori, Nadia Pinardi, and Hans von Storch

Data sets

Simulations used in the Ocean Science Journal publication titled "Internal and forced ocean variability in the Mediterranean Sea " by Benincasa et al., 2024 Roberta Benincasa https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10371026

Roberta Benincasa, Giovanni Liguori, Nadia Pinardi, and Hans von Storch

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Short summary
Ocean dynamics result from the interplay of internal processes and external inputs, primarily from the atmosphere. It is crucial to discern between these factors to gauge the ocean's intrinsic predictability and to be able to attribute a signal under study to either external factors or internal variability. Employing a simple analysis, we successfully characterized this variability in the Mediterranean Sea and compared it with the oceanic response induced by atmospheric conditions.