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Chlorophyll in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea: Correlations with Environmental Factors and Trends

1
Marine Section, Hellenic National Meteorological Service, El. Venizelou 14, Hellinikon 16777, Greece
2
Department of Marine Sciences, School of the Environment, University of the Aegean, University Hill, Mytilene 81100, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Environments 2019, 6(8), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6080098
Received: 28 June 2019 / Revised: 12 August 2019 / Accepted: 13 August 2019 / Published: 17 August 2019
The research on marine chlorophyll concentrations, as indicators of phytoplankton abundance, their relations with environmental parameters, and their trends is of global interest. It is also crucial when referring to oligotrophic environments where maintenance or increase in primary production is vital. The present study focuses on the Eastern Mediterranean Sea that is in general oligotrophic. Its primary goal is to explore possible relations between surface chlorophyll-a concentrations and environmental factors. The involved parameters are the sea surface temperature, the wind speed, the wave height, the precipitation, and the mean sea level pressure; their relation with chlorophyll is assessed through the calculation of the relevant correlation coefficients, based on monthly satellite-derived and numerical model data for the period 1998–2016. The results show that chlorophyll relates inversely with sea surface temperature; in general positively with wind speed and wave height; positively, although weaker, with precipitation; and negatively, but area and season limited, with mean sea level pressure. These correlations are stronger over the open southern part of the study area and strongly dependent on the season. A secondary aim of the study is the estimation of chlorophyll trends for the same time interval, which is performed separately for the low and the high production periods. The statistically significant results reveal only increasing local chlorophyll trends that, for each period, mainly characterize the eastern and the western part of the area, respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: Sea surface temperature (SST); wind; wave height; precipitation; mean sea level (MSL) pressure; ocean color data; ERA interim; geographic information system (GIS). Sea surface temperature (SST); wind; wave height; precipitation; mean sea level (MSL) pressure; ocean color data; ERA interim; geographic information system (GIS).
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Kotta, D.; Kitsiou, D. Chlorophyll in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea: Correlations with Environmental Factors and Trends. Environments 2019, 6, 98.

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