Mediterranean Sea (MS), especially the eastern basin is one the most oligotrophic seas. The N/P ratio is unusually high with a west (22:1) to east (28:1) increasing gradient. Atmospheric deposition was recently suggested as the main external mechanism supplying nutrients to the marine environment. The proposed project aims at quantifying the role of atmospheric deposition of nutrients as a driver for the seawater productivity changes in the MS through modeling and experimental work. This will be achieved by coupling atmospheric and sea-water observations and elaborate them by a marine biogeochemical/ecosystem model that will be forced by an atmospheric chemistry/transport/deposition model. The project will quantify the atmospheric deposition of nutrients, their anthropogenic component and their long-term variability (hindcast and forecast simulations). It will then evaluate the response of the oceanic biogeochemistry to these forcings. It is the first time that such a strong coupling between atmospheric scientists and oceanographers is realized in the Mediterranean. The project aspires to highlight the biogeochemical functioning of the MS and how this is influenced by anthropogenic activity and future climatic changes. In this perspective, the proposed work is structured in 4 WP which cover: atmospheric and marine observations and targeted experiments (both atmospheric and oceanic) aiming at determining the drivers of the marine ecosystem changes and parameterizing their impact (WP1); modeling of the atmosphere (WP2) and of the marine ecosystem in the East and the West Mediterranean (WP3). Present day evaluations of impacts will be complemented by hind cast and forecast simulations to evaluate the evolution of these impacts since 1900 and until 2100 (WP2 & WP3). Maximum profit of the project resources and best dissemination of the results is assured by WP4 that focuses on the management and the dissemination of the project results to the scientific community, the general public and policy makers.
This research has been co‐financed by the European Union (European Social Fund – ESF) and Greek national funds through the Operational Program "Education and Lifelong Learning" of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) ‐ Research Funding Program: THALES. Investing in knowledge society through the European Social Fund.
Download the full proposal here