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Record-breaking persistence of the 2022/23 marine heatwave in the Mediterranean Sea

TitleRecord-breaking persistence of the 2022/23 marine heatwave in the Mediterranean Sea
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsMarullo, S., Serva Federico, Iacono Roberto, Napolitano Ernesto, Di Sarra Alcide, Meloni Daniela, Monteleone Francesco, Sferlazzo Damiano Massimo, De Silvestri Lorenzo, De Toma Vincenzo, Pisano Andrea, Bellacicco Marco, Landolfi Angela, Organelli Emanuele, Yang Chunxue, and Santoleri Rosalia
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Date PublishedJan-11-2023
Type of ArticleArticle

Since May 2022, the Mediterranean Sea has been experiencing an exceptionally long marine heatwave event. Warm anomalies, mainly occurring in the Western basin, have persisted until boreal spring 2023, making this event the longest Mediterranean marine heat wave of the last four decades. In this work, the 2022/2023 anomaly is characterized, using in-situ and satellite measurements, together with state of the art reanalysis products. The role of atmospheric forcing is also investigated; the onset and growth of sea surface temperature anomalies is found to be related to the prevalence of anticyclonic conditions in the atmosphere, which have also caused severe droughts in the Mediterranean region over the same period. Analysis of in-situ observations from the Lampedusa station and of ocean reanalyzes reveals that wind-driven vertical mixing led to the penetration of the warm anomalies below the sea surface, where they have persisted for several months, particularly in the central part of the basin. The evolution of the 2022/23 event is compared with the severe 2003 event, to put recent conditions in the context of climate change. © 2023 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd


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Short TitleEnviron. Res. Lett.
Citation Key11952