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Yasser Abualnaja, Vassilis P. Papadopoulos, Simon A. Josey, Ibrahim Hoteit, Harilaos Kontoyiannis, and Dionysios E. Raitsos

Abstract

The impacts of various climate modes on the Red Sea surface heat exchange are investigated using the MERRA reanalysis and the OAFlux satellite reanalysis datasets. Seasonality in the atmospheric forcing is also explored. Mode impacts peak during boreal winter [December–February (DJF)] with average anomalies of 12–18 W m−2 to be found in the northern Red Sea. The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the east Atlantic–west Russia (EAWR) pattern, and the Indian monsoon index (IMI) exhibit the strongest influence on the air–sea heat exchange during the winter. In this season, the largest negative anomalies of about −30 W m−2 are associated with the EAWR pattern over the central part of the Red Sea. In other seasons, mode-related anomalies are considerably lower, especially during spring when the mode impacts are negligible. The mode impacts are strongest over the northern half of the Red Sea during winter and autumn. In summer, the southern half of the basin is strongly influenced by the multivariate ENSO index (MEI). The winter mode–related anomalies are determined mostly by the latent heat flux component, while in summer the shortwave flux is also important. The influence of the modes on the Red Sea is found to be generally weaker than on the neighboring Mediterranean basin.

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Sabique Langodan, Luigi Cavaleri, Angela Pomaro, Jesus Portilla, Yasser Abualnaja, and Ibrahim Hoteit

Abstract

The wind and wave climatology of the Red Sea is derived from a validated 30-yr high-resolution model simulation. After describing the relevant features of the basin, the main wind and wave systems are identified by using an innovative spectral partition technique to explain their genesis and characteristics. In the northern part of the sea, wind and waves of the same intensity are present throughout the year, while the central and southern zones are characterized by a marked seasonality. The partition technique allows the association of a general decrease in the energy of the different wave systems with a specific weather pattern. The most intense decrease is found in the northern storms, which are associated with meteorological pulses from the Mediterranean Sea.

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Vassilis P. Papadopoulos, Yasser Abualnaja, Simon A. Josey, Amy Bower, Dionysios E. Raitsos, Harilaos Kontoyiannis, and Ibrahim Hoteit

Abstract

The influence of the atmospheric circulation on the winter air–sea heat fluxes over the northern Red Sea is investigated during the period 1985–2011. The analysis based on daily heat flux values reveals that most of the net surface heat exchange variability depends on the behavior of the turbulent components of the surface flux (the sum of the latent and sensible heat). The large-scale composite sea level pressure (SLP) maps corresponding to turbulent flux minima and maxima show distinct atmospheric circulation patterns associated with each case. In general, extreme heat loss (with turbulent flux lower than −400 W m−2) over the northern Red Sea is observed when anticyclonic conditions prevail over an area extending from the Mediterranean Sea to eastern Asia along with a recession of the equatorial African lows system. Subcenters of high pressure associated with this pattern generate the required steep SLP gradient that enhances the wind magnitude and transfers cold and dry air masses from higher latitudes. Conversely, turbulent flux maxima (heat loss minimization with values from −100 to −50 W m−2) are associated with prevailing low pressures over the eastern Mediterranean and an extended equatorial African low that reaches the southern part of the Red Sea. In this case, a smooth SLP field over the northern Red Sea results in weak winds over the area that in turn reduce the surface heat loss. At the same time, southerlies blowing along the main axis of the Red Sea transfer warm and humid air northward, favoring heat flux maxima.

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Ibrahim Hoteit, Yasser Abualnaja, Shehzad Afzal, Boujemaa Ait-El-Fquih, Triantaphyllos Akylas, Charls Antony, Clint Dawson, Khaled Asfahani, Robert J. Brewin, Luigi Cavaleri, Ivana Cerovecki, Bruce Cornuelle, Srinivas Desamsetti, Raju Attada, Hari Dasari, Jose Sanchez-Garrido, Lily Genevier, Mohamad El Gharamti, John A. Gittings, Elamurugu Gokul, Ganesh Gopalakrishnan, Daquan Guo, Bilel Hadri, Markus Hadwiger, Mohammed Abed Hammoud, Myrl Hendershott, Mohamad Hittawe, Ashok Karumuri, Omar Knio, Armin Köhl, Samuel Kortas, George Krokos, Ravi Kunchala, Leila Issa, Issam Lakkis, Sabique Langodan, Pierre Lermusiaux, Thang Luong, Jingyi Ma, Olivier Le Maitre, Matthew Mazloff, Samah El Mohtar, Vassilis P. Papadopoulos, Trevor Platt, Larry Pratt, Naila Raboudi, Marie-Fanny Racault, Dionysios E. Raitsos, Shanas Razak, Sivareddy Sanikommu, Shubha Sathyendranath, Sarantis Sofianos, Aneesh Subramanian, Rui Sun, Edriss Titi, Habib Toye, George Triantafyllou, Kostas Tsiaras, Panagiotis Vasou, Yesubabu Viswanadhapalli, Yixin Wang, Fengchao Yao, Peng Zhan, and George Zodiatis

Abstract

The Red Sea, home to the second-longest coral reef system in the world, is a vital resource for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Red Sea provides 90% of the Kingdom’s potable water by desalinization, supporting tourism, shipping, aquaculture, and fishing industries, which together contribute about 10%–20% of the country’s GDP. All these activities, and those elsewhere in the Red Sea region, critically depend on oceanic and atmospheric conditions. At a time of mega-development projects along the Red Sea coast, and global warming, authorities are working on optimizing the harnessing of environmental resources, including renewable energy and rainwater harvesting. All these require high-resolution weather and climate information. Toward this end, we have undertaken a multipronged research and development activity in which we are developing an integrated data-driven regional coupled modeling system. The telescopically nested components include 5-km- to 600-m-resolution atmospheric models to address weather and climate challenges, 4-km- to 50-m-resolution ocean models with regional and coastal configurations to simulate and predict the general and mesoscale circulation, 4-km- to 100-m-resolution ecosystem models to simulate the biogeochemistry, and 1-km- to 50-m-resolution wave models. In addition, a complementary probabilistic transport modeling system predicts dispersion of contaminant plumes, oil spill, and marine ecosystem connectivity. Advanced ensemble data assimilation capabilities have also been implemented for accurate forecasting. Resulting achievements include significant advancement in our understanding of the regional circulation and its connection to the global climate, development, and validation of long-term Red Sea regional atmospheric–oceanic–wave reanalyses and forecasting capacities. These products are being extensively used by academia, government, and industry in various weather and marine studies and operations, environmental policies, renewable energy applications, impact assessment, flood forecasting, and more.

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