Temperature, salt levels of Western Mediterranean on the rise

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Washington, May 22 (ANI): A research by Spanish scientists has shown that the temperature and salt levels of the Western Mediterranean Sea have been on the rise since 1940s.

They have also discovered that the rate of increase has sped up since 1990s.

Each year the temperature of the deep layer of the Western Mediterranean increases by 0.002ºC, and its salt levels increase by 0.001 units of salinity.

The results are consistent, "but to confirm this accelerating trend, we need to monitor it over the years to come", Manuel Vargas-Yáñez, main author of the study and researcher at the Oceanic Centre of Malaga of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO), assures SINC.

The researchers observed the upper layer (from the surface to 150-200 metres deep with water that enters from the Atlantic), the middle layer (from 200 to 600 metres deep with water from the eastern Mediterranean that enters the western basin via the Strait of Sicily), and the deep layer (from 600 metres to the sea bed with water from the western Mediterranean) of the sea.

The team has also observed an increase in the salt level and the temperature of the middle layer of the sea. This has not been clearly observed in the upper layer, "but it can be deduced from the heating of the deep water and from studies done by other teams and our current research projects", Vargas-Yáñez states.

"We need to support the networks that already exist and build new ones to monitor the sea. Only then will we be able to detect, in a reliable and effective way, the changes taking place in the sea", Vargas-Yáñez says.

The study is published in the Journal of Geophysical Research (ANI)

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