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Archive

Which surface fluxes do we need for modelling the Mediterranean Sea?


Caniaux Guy

The Mediterranean sea is an important oceanic basin where an active thermohaline circulation occurs with deep and intermediate water mass formations. Air-sea interactions are crucial in these complexe mechanisms which concern not only the surface layers but all the water column. However, the existing litterature proves that heat and water budgets over the Mediterranean Sea are still largely unknown (specially the E-P-R budget) due to surface flux uncertainties, to their spatial and temporal resolution and to their multi-annual tendencies. Moreover, results indicate that relaxation methods or flux corrections currently used in modelling studies affect the interannual variability of climatic indicators, like the overturning circulation or the heat transports. Consequently, an important question is to consider which fluxes we need for models, which temporal and spatial resolution, and which data are appropriate to close budgets and contribute to reproduce realistic simulations of the oceanic upper/deep layers.
These points are discussed using results obtained from recent experiments.