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Ocean Sci., 10, 281-322, 2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Review article
06 May 2014
Physical forcing and physical/biochemical variability of the Mediterranean Sea: a review of unresolved issues and directions for future research
P. Malanotte-Rizzoli1, V. Artale2, G. L. Borzelli-Eusebi3, S. Brenner4, A. Crise3, M. Gacic3, N. Kress6, S. Marullo2, M. Ribera d'Alcalà8, S. Sofianos11, T. Tanhua12, A. Theocharis13, M. Alvarez14, Y. Ashkenazy15, A. Bergamasco10, V. Cardin3, S. Carniel10, G. Civitarese3, F. D'Ortenzio16, J. Font5, E. Garcia-Ladona5, J. M. Garcia-Lafuente17, A. Gogou13, M. Gregoire18, D. Hainbucher19, H. Kontoyannis13, V. Kovacevic3, E. Kraskapoulou13, G. Kroskos13, A. Incarbona20, M. G. Mazzocchi8, M. Orlic21, E. Ozsoy7, A. Pascual22, P.-M. Poulain3, W. Roether9, A. Rubino23, K. Schroeder10, J. Siokou-Frangou13, E. Souvermezoglou13, M. Sprovieri24, J. Tintoré22, and G. Triantafyllou13 1Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA
2ENEA, Agenzia nazionale per le nuove tecnologie, l'energia e lo sviluppo economico sostenibile, Centri ricerca Frascati e Roma, Rome, Italy
3Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale – OGS, Trieste, Italy
4Department of Geography and Environment, Bar llan University, Ramat Gan 52900, Israel
5Institut de Ciencies del Mar – CSIC, Barcelona, Spain
6National Institute of Oceanography, Israel Oceanographic & Limnological Research, Haifa, Israel
7Middle East Technical University, Institute of Marine Sciences, Erdemli, Turkey
8Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Naples, Italy
9University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
10CNR ISMAR, Istituto di Scienze Marine, Venice, Italy
11University of Athens, Division of Environmental Physics, Ocean Physics and Modeling Group, Athens, Greece
12GEOMAR Helmholz Center for Ocean Research, Kiel, Germany
13Institute of Oceanography, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Sounio Ave., P.O. Box 712, Athens, Greece
14Instituto Espanol de Oceanografia, Calle del Corazon de Maria 8, Madrid 28020, Spain
15Department of Solar Energy & Environmental Physics, The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
16Laboratoire d'Oceanographie de Villefranche (LOV), CNRS and Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris 06, UMR7093, Villefraneche-sur-mer, France
17Physical Oceanography Group University of Malaga, Malaga, Spain
18Universite de Liege – Laboratoire d'Oceanologie – Centre MARE, Liege, Belgium
19University of Hamburg – Institute of Oceanography, Hamburg, Germany
20Universita di Palermo, Dipartimenti di Geologia & Geodesia, Palermo, Italy
21University of Zagreb, Faculty of Science Andrija Mohoroviviv Geophysical Institute, Zagreb, Croatia
22Instituto Mediterraneo de Estudio Avanzados, IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB), Balearic Islands, Spain
23Universita Ca' Forscari di Venezia, Venice, Italy
24CNR IAMC, Unita Operativa di Capo Granitola, Trapani, Italy
Abstract. This paper is the outcome of a workshop held in Rome in November 2011 on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the POEM (Physical Oceanography of the Eastern Mediterranean) program. In the workshop discussions, a number of unresolved issues were identified for the physical and biogeochemical properties of the Mediterranean Sea as a whole, i.e., comprising the Western and Eastern sub-basins. Over the successive two years, the related ideas were discussed among the group of scientists who participated in the workshop and who have contributed to the writing of this paper.

Three major topics were identified, each of them being the object of a section divided into a number of different sub-sections, each addressing a specific physical, chemical or biological issue:

1. Assessment of basin-wide physical/biochemical properties, of their variability and interactions.

2. Relative importance of external forcing functions (wind stress, heat/moisture fluxes, forcing through straits) vs. internal variability.

3. Shelf/deep sea interactions and exchanges of physical/biogeochemical properties and how they affect the sub-basin circulation and property distribution.

Furthermore, a number of unresolved scientific/methodological issues were also identified and are reported in each sub-section after a short discussion of the present knowledge. They represent the collegial consensus of the scientists contributing to the paper. Naturally, the unresolved issues presented here constitute the choice of the authors and therefore they may not be exhaustive and/or complete. The overall goal is to stimulate a broader interdisciplinary discussion among the scientists of the Mediterranean oceanographic community, leading to enhanced collaborative efforts and exciting future discoveries.

Citation: Malanotte-Rizzoli, P., Artale, V., Borzelli-Eusebi, G. L., Brenner, S., Crise, A., Gacic, M., Kress, N., Marullo, S., Ribera d'Alcalà, M., Sofianos, S., Tanhua, T., Theocharis, A., Alvarez, M., Ashkenazy, Y., Bergamasco, A., Cardin, V., Carniel, S., Civitarese, G., D'Ortenzio, F., Font, J., Garcia-Ladona, E., Garcia-Lafuente, J. M., Gogou, A., Gregoire, M., Hainbucher, D., Kontoyannis, H., Kovacevic, V., Kraskapoulou, E., Kroskos, G., Incarbona, A., Mazzocchi, M. G., Orlic, M., Ozsoy, E., Pascual, A., Poulain, P.-M., Roether, W., Rubino, A., Schroeder, K., Siokou-Frangou, J., Souvermezoglou, E., Sprovieri, M., Tintoré, J., and Triantafyllou, G.: Physical forcing and physical/biochemical variability of the Mediterranean Sea: a review of unresolved issues and directions for future research, Ocean Sci., 10, 281-322,, 2014.
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