The Mediterranean Sea geographic context and hydrological balance make it especially
vulnerable to ongoing climate change. Precipitation reduction across the southern Europe
and Northern Africa together with global warming are expected to have significant impacts on
the hydrology and circulation, and ultimately affect the Mediterranean Sea ecosystem to an
extent yet unpredictable. A growing number of international initiatives are created to assess
and predict changes at the scale of the Mediterranean (e.g., MEDCLIVAR, HyMEX,
SESAME). Among all the anticipated changes, the inter-basin exchange will certainly
respond, affecting not only the hydrology of the entire Mediterranean Sea, but also the
ecosystems in the marginal and communicating seas, like the Gulf of Cadiz and Alboran
Sea on the west, and the North Aegean Sea on the east.
MedEx will geographically "zoom" over theses areas and scientifically focus on the changing
inter-basin exchange processes impacting the ecosystems. MedEX will complement
existing knowledge on local ecosystem dynamics, especially in what concerns the
processes that are on direct dependency on the exchange between the Mediterranean
and adjacent seas (the north Atlantic and the Black Sea).
MedEX will bring together scientists from the two ends of the Mediterranean with a large
experience in the various aspects of the oceanography of the Gulf of Cadiz, Alboran and
North Aegean Seas. MedEX consortium will have a broad disciplinary scope to form a
network dedicated to the problem of inflow/outflow through the straits of Gibraltar and
Dardanelles, and its consequences on the local oceanography.
MedEX will concentrate on process-oriented studies both at the observational and
modelling levels, in order to assess in detail the relation between the large-scale forcing
factors and the exchange processes. It will estimate the main trends in the Inter-basin
exchange in the last decades, and predict future tendencies. MedEX will estimate how the
local ecosystems will evolve with changing inflow/outflow processes.
MedEX will consolidate existing knowledge about the local ecosystems in the form of
regional modelling systems as tools for research, description and prediction of local
ecosystem changes. Different models of increasing complexity will be adapted or tuned in
each region, in order to capture the essential of the strait physics as well as to describe the
local pelagic ecosystems structure and functioning. The model skill to reproduce recent
(documented) exchange evolution will be assessed by validation with high resolution strait
MedEX will put the emphasis on higher frequency/smaller scale processes, and evaluate
the sensitivity of regional and ecological models to detail in the resolution of the strait
physics. This way MedEX will contribute to larger international initiatives aiming at the
Mediterranean basin scale, by assessing the skill and predictability issues of models not
resolving shorter and higher frequency processes.
MedEx will also provide a framework for exchange of knowledge and experience between
modelers and experimentalists from the two edges of the Mediterranean Sea. A number of
new collaborations will start in the frame of MedEX, like those envisioned for model coupling
(atmosphere-ocean-ecosystem), analysis of higher resolution strait processes (Dardenelles
and Gibraltar), data-model validation, among others. MedEX will contribute to student
training, by facilitating interchange of future scientists between the different partners and
contributing to a summer school.
This is the full project overview, the part that the group need to developed involve physics observation, description and interpretation about how the exchange is and how it can evolve in the future.
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