Origin and transport of Mediterranean moisture and air
- Institute of Meteorology, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
Abstract. Considering the Mediterranean as a region of high evaporation and low precipitation, evaluations of sinks and sources of moisture and precipitation in the Mediterranean basin have been carried out within the frame of the CIRCE (Climate Change and Impact Research: the Mediterranean Environment) project. Besides these evaluations, residence time and stagnation/ventilation analyses have been carried out to investigate transport to and from the Mediterranean basin and in the basin itself. A Lagrangian moisture diagnosis method calculating budgets of evaporation minus precipitation was applied to a 5.5 year (October 1999–April 2005) trajectory data set and evaluated for eight representative Mediterranean Regions Of Interest (ROI). The Mediterranean basin has been identified as a major source of moisture and precipitation to the surrounding land area and to the basin itself. Main regions of stagnation, i.e. the Po basin, have been defined on a seasonal basis through residence time analysis. Evaluation of the transport to and from the basin shows that the Mediterranean is a crossroad of airstreams where air enters mainly from the northwest and continues in two separate streams, one going southwest over North Africa into the trade wind zone and the other one to the northeast through Central Asia.