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CR 31:257-271 (2006)  -  doi:10.3354/cr031257

Decadal oscillations in the Mediterranean Sea: a result of the overturning circulation variability in the eastern basin?

G. Pisacane*, V. Artale, S. Calmanti, V. Rupolo

ENEA, Unità di Modellistica Oceanografica, Progetto Speciale Clima Globale, C.R. Casaccia, Santa Maria di Galeria, 00060 Rome, Italy

ABSTRACT: We studied the decadal variability of Mediterranean overturning circulation, induced by freshwater flux forcing in an eddy-permitting oceanic general circulation model (OGCM), using a statistical approach. Analysis of the modes of variability was carried out by means of the empirical orthogonal functional analysis (EOF) method. We demonstrated that the eastern basin is sensitive to switching from a restoring boundary condition on salinity to a freshwater flux. This study suggests that variability in the eastern basin drives the response of the whole Mediterranean Sea. We put forward the hypothesis that the eastern basin undergoes internal oscillations of bimodal amplitude.

KEYWORDS: Eastern Mediterranean Transient · Overturning circulation · Mediterranean Sea · Decadal oscillations

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