The Adriatic Sea, characterized by unique local features in comparison to the broader Mediterranean Sea, stands out as a highly susceptible region to climate change. In this context, our study involves a focused climate downscaling approach, concentrating on the Adriatic water cycle. This encompasses integrated modeling at the mesoscale, covering the atmosphere, hydrology, and marine general circulation. The study period spans from 1992 to 2050, considering the high emission scenario RCP8.5. We aim at evaluating how the river release projection affects the local density stratification and the sea level rise. Indeed, the river release is found to decrease by approximately 35% in the mid-term future and condition the stratification of the water column with differences between the Northern and Southern sub-basins. The projected runoff decrease has a major impact on the Northern sub-basin, where the stratification is haline-dominated and the foreseen salinization prevails on the heating through the whole water column. Conversely, the runoff decrease has a lower impact on the Southern sub-basin, where the future changes of other mechanisms may play a major role, e.g., the changing properties of the Mediterranean water entering the Otranto Strait and the foreseen heating prevails on the salinization from the intermediate to deep water column. The study provides the first evidence of how the decreasing river discharge locally reduces the density stratification, increases the dense water, and mitigates the sea level rise in the Northern Adriatic Sea, thus acting in the opposite direction to the global warming. To minimize uncertainty in coastal ocean projections around the world, it is essential that the climate downscaling integrates high-resolution hydrology and hydrodynamics models to correctly reproduce the link between surface buoyancy and stratification and the resulting dynamics.

Climate projections of the Adriatic Sea: role of river release

Luca Furnari
Software
;
Alfonso Senatore
Formal Analysis
;
Giuseppe Mendicino
Supervision
;
2024-01-01

Abstract

The Adriatic Sea, characterized by unique local features in comparison to the broader Mediterranean Sea, stands out as a highly susceptible region to climate change. In this context, our study involves a focused climate downscaling approach, concentrating on the Adriatic water cycle. This encompasses integrated modeling at the mesoscale, covering the atmosphere, hydrology, and marine general circulation. The study period spans from 1992 to 2050, considering the high emission scenario RCP8.5. We aim at evaluating how the river release projection affects the local density stratification and the sea level rise. Indeed, the river release is found to decrease by approximately 35% in the mid-term future and condition the stratification of the water column with differences between the Northern and Southern sub-basins. The projected runoff decrease has a major impact on the Northern sub-basin, where the stratification is haline-dominated and the foreseen salinization prevails on the heating through the whole water column. Conversely, the runoff decrease has a lower impact on the Southern sub-basin, where the future changes of other mechanisms may play a major role, e.g., the changing properties of the Mediterranean water entering the Otranto Strait and the foreseen heating prevails on the salinization from the intermediate to deep water column. The study provides the first evidence of how the decreasing river discharge locally reduces the density stratification, increases the dense water, and mitigates the sea level rise in the Northern Adriatic Sea, thus acting in the opposite direction to the global warming. To minimize uncertainty in coastal ocean projections around the world, it is essential that the climate downscaling integrates high-resolution hydrology and hydrodynamics models to correctly reproduce the link between surface buoyancy and stratification and the resulting dynamics.
2024
limited area climate modeling, physical downscaling, integrated modeling of local water cycle, Adriatic dilution basin, river release projection, river role on water stratification, river role on sea level rise, local dense water formation
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/367960
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 3
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact