Depth-dependent warming of the Gulf of Eilat (Aqaba)

Sounav Sengupta*, Hezi Gildor, Yosef Ashkenazy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Gulf of Eilat (Gulf of Aqaba) is a semi-enclosed basin situated at the northern end of the Red Sea, renowned for its exceptional marine ecosystem. To evaluate the response of the Gulf to climate variations, we analyzed various factors including temperature down to 700 m, surface air temperature, and heat fluxes. We find that the sea temperature is rising at all depths despite inconclusive trends in local atmospheric variables, including the surface air temperature. The Gulf’s sea surface temperature (SST) warms at a rate of a few hundredths of a degree Celsius per year, which is comparable to the warming of the global SST and the Mediterranean Sea. The increase in sea warming is linked to fewer winter deep mixing events that used to occur more frequently in the past. Based on the analysis of the ocean-atmosphere heat fluxes, we conclude that the lateral advection of heat from the southern part of the Gulf likely leads to an increase in water temperature in the northern part of the Gulf. Our findings suggest that local ocean warming is not necessarily associated with local processes, but rather with the warming of other remote locations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107
JournalClimatic Change
Volume177
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Gulf of Eilat (Gulf of Aqaba)
  • Heat fluxes
  • Ocean warming

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