Black Sea biogeochemistry: Response to decadal atmospheric variability during 1960-2000 inferred from numerical modeling


The long-term variability of the physical and biochemical structure of oxic and suboxic layers in the Black Sea was studied using a one-dimensional coupled hydrophysical and biogeochemical model. The focus was on the correlation between atmospheric forcing (2 m air temperature and dew point temperature, surface level pressure, surface wind) affected by the North Atlantic Oscillation in and the regional responses. The quality of model performance was demonstrated using observed vertical and temporal distribution of biogeochemical variables. It was shown that during 1960e2000, the long-term variability of simulated winter-mean SST in the Black Sea correlated reasonably well with the variability of 2 m air temperature. Furthermore, the thermal state of the upper ocean impacted largely on the variability of biogeochemical variables, such as oxygen, nitrate and phytoplankton concentration. The tele-connection between North Atlantic Oscillation and Black Sea biogeochemistry was manifested in a different way for the specific time-interval 1960e2000; the corresponding regime shifts were thus associated with the large scale forcing. One such extreme event occurred in 1976 leading to a pronounced shift in the oxygen and hydrogen sulfide state.
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