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In being at the base of the marine food web, phytoplankton is particularly important for marine ecosystem functioning e.g., biodiversity. Strong anthropization, over-exploitation of natural resources, and climate change affect the natural amount of phytoplankton and, therefore, represent a continuous threat to the biodiversity in marine waters. In particular, a concerning risks for coastal waters is the increase in nutrient inputs of terrestrial-anthropogenic origin that can lead to undesirable modifications of phytoplankton concentration i.e., eutrophication. Monitoring chlorophyll Chl concentration, which is a proxy of phytoplankton biomass, is an efficient tool for recording and understanding the response of the marine ecosystem to human pressures and thus for detecting eutrophication. Here, we compute Chl trends over the Mediterranean Sea by using satellite data, also highlighting the fact that remote sensing may represent an efficient and reliable solution to synoptically control the -good environmental status- i.e., the Marine Directive to achieve Good Environmental Status of EU marine waters by 2020 and to assess the application of international regulations and environmental directives. Our methodology includes the use of an ad hoc regional i.e., Mediterranean algorithm for Chl concentration retrieval, also accounting for the difference between offshore i.e., Case I and coastal i.e., Case II waters. We apply the Mann-Kendall test and the Sens’s method for trend estimation to the Chl concentration de-seasonalized monthly time series, as obtained from the X-11 technique. We also provide a preliminary analysis of some particular trends by evaluating their associated inter-annual variability. The high spatial resolution of our approach allows a clear identification of intense trends in those coastal waters that are affected by river outflows. We do not attempt to attribute the observed trends to specific anthropogenic events. However, the trends that we document are consistent with the findings of several previous studies.



Autor: Simone Colella, Federico Falcini, Eleonora Rinaldi, Michela Sammartino, Rosalia Santoleri

Fuente: http://plos.srce.hr/



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