Mediterranean Temperature, Salt Increasing

MADRID, May 25 (UPI) — Spanish scientists say they’ve determined both the temperature and salt levels of the Western Mediterranean Sea are increasing.

Researchers at the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology said they analyzed the temperature and salt levels of the Western Mediterranean between 1943 and 2000 to study the evolution of each variable. Their research shows that, since at least the 1940s, the deep water has become progressively warmer and saltier, and since the 1990s that process has speeded up.


Manuiel Vargas-Yanez, the study’s lead author, said the researchers analyzed the temperature and salt levels of the three layers of the Mediterranean Sea: the upper layer (from the surface to 656 feet deep with water that enters from the Atlantic), the middle layer (from 656 to 1,968 feet deep with water from the eastern Mediterranean that enters the western basin via the Strait of Sicily) and the deep layer (from 1,968 feet to the sea bed with water from the western Mediterranean).

“These layers, especially the deep one, take up a huge volume, and raising its temperature each year by one thousandth of a degree requires an enormous amount of heat”, the researchers said.

The findings are detailed in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

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