Variability of moisture sources in the Mediterranean region during the period 1980-2000

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In this study, seasonal and interannual variability of the main atmospheric moisture sources over eight regions in the Mediterranean basin were investigated along a 21 year period. The Lagrangian dispersion model FLEXPART, developed by Stohl and James [2004, 2005], was applied to identify the contribution of humidity to the moisture budget of each region. This methodology is used to compute budgets of evaporation minus precipitation (E-P) by calculating changes in the specific humidity along backward trajectories, for the preceding 10 day periods. The results show clear seasonal differences in the moisture sources between wet and dry seasons. The Western Mediterranean Sea is the dominant moisture source for almost all the regions in the Mediterranean basin during the wet season, while the local net evaporation dominates during the dry season. The highest interannual variability is found in contributions to the Iberian Peninsula, Italy, and the Eastern Mediterranean. It is seen that the role of teleconnections is more limited than for the precipitation recorded in the region.
© 2013. American Geophysical Union. This work was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (MCINN) under the research grant CGL2008-05968-C02-02(MSM). Thanks to the three anonymous reviewers who provided helpful comments which improved the manuscript.
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