The data of meteorological and oceanographic observations on the northwest shelf of the Black Sea for 1973–2000 are used to compute the characteristics of the entire area in the presence of hypoxia of waters under the pycnocline in the summer–autumn period and the area of surface waters with a level of salinity lower than 17.5‰ in May. The time of onset of the spring warming of air (stable transition through a temperature of 5°) is determined. A statistically significant positive trend of the air temperature (0.8° per 100 yr) is revealed in Odessa. The process of warming was observed mainly for the winter (1.5° per 100 yr) and spring (0.8° per 100 yr) periods and became especially intense since the beginning of the 1990s. On the basis of the data of correlation analyses, we establish a statistically significant relationship between the large-scale atmospheric processes [the index of North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the wind conditions], the area of surface waters whose salinity is lower than 17.5‰, and the total area with hypoxia in the summer–autumn periods. For positive mean values of the NAO index (in January–March), we most often observe early spring with elevated repetition of the south and west winds with subsequent development of hypoxia in large areas of the northwest shelf. We propose an empirical regression model for the prediction of the total area of summer–autumn hypoxia of waters with predictors: the onset of the spring warming of air and the area of propagation of waters whose salinity is lower than 17.5‰ in May. The maximum error of prediction of the area with hypoxia does not exceed 5.5 ⋅ 103 km2, i.e., less than 2% of the total area of the northwest shelf in the Black Sea (to the north of 45°N).
Physical Oceanography – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 3, 2009
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