Both the atmosphere and the sea are getting warmer: the Mediterranean is heating up particularly quickly, and so is the Adriatic

The deeper layers of the sea are more difficult to cool, which affects the ecosystem.

Author  HrTurizam.hr

4. May 2024.

In the recent HTV show 'Otvoreno', the speakers discussed climate change and what it entails.

Commenting on the storm in Slavonski Brod, Ivan Güttler, general director of DHMZ, said that we are entering a part of the year when we will encounter unpredictable events more and more often.

They talked about that and other topics Krešimir Kuk (seismologist from the Geophysical Department of the Faculty of Science and Technology), Goran Mazija (head of the Geotechnical Cadastre of the City of Zagreb), Ph.D. Ivan Güttler (Chief Director of DHMZ) and Ph.D. Natalija Dunic (Marine Physics Laboratory of the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries in Split).

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Dunić cited the rise in sea level and temperature as one of the main problems related to the sea. She pointed out that the temperature of the system is generally rising.

"As it grows in the atmosphere, it also grows in the sea. And what we have been recording especially for the last five years, unfortunately, we are counting records. Like all over the world, and those slightly bigger records can still be seen in the Mediterranean, as well as in our sea", she said. 

The record temperature was mostly recorded on the surface part of the sea. Unlike the surface layer, which can generally be cooled or heated, the deeper layers require certain processes in order to cool them.

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The processes that are normally responsible for this, precisely because of the lack of some atmospheric processes, weaken and there is no simple way to cool down like on the surface. 

As for the level, it continues to rise, and the salinity of the sea depends on several factors. "Especially on the surface, it can already be seen in certain areas that the salinity is quite high, precisely because of the evaporation that occurs at the border between the sea and the atmosphere.", she said. 

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Another phenomenon is specific in the Adriatic Sea, he says, and that is the entry, or redistribution, of water masses. Between that enters the Levantine water, which was formed in the eastern part of the Mediterranean, and which is very salty.

This water has been retained in the middle layer of the Adriatic for a long time, which is why we are recording increased salinity. It is the same in the middle classes, she revealed.

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"There is an interesting research that showed that in 2017, when there was still a strong winter, when it was cold enough to cool the surface of the sea above the deep sea in the Adriatic, which is the South Adriatic basin, it was quite enough to cool the surface part of the layer and there, convective processes were created in the surface part, but they were accelerated precisely because of this salinity, which penetrated into the deeper layers as well", pointed out Dunić, explaining that the increase in heat waves in the atmosphere is followed by heat waves in the sea.

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Storms

Commenting on the storm in Slavonski Brod, Ivan Güttler said that we are entering a part of the year when we will have more and more events like this.

"We have a passage called cold front over our regions, which in this case brings convective precipitation", he said and added that colleagues from civil protection had their hands full. In Slavonski Brod, they were rescuing a man whose car got stuck under an underpass. 

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Considering the current situation and various life-threatening weather conditions, the viewer of the show asked the question whether DHMZ plans to have 24-hour duty in order to inform citizens in a timely manner.

"Part of the DHMZ is always awake, our colleagues in Rijeka and Split who take care of the maritime meteorological service have a system from zero to 24. Colleagues in Zagreb cover specific, dangerous weather situations during the night, and if cooperation with the Civil Protection, the Fire Brigade is required and Croatian waters are then invaded by colleagues from Split and Rijeka", he replied.

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Some of the main meteorological stations also do not stop at night. "We will need a new DHMZ building with better conditions. We are currently renting, in a space where we do not have the conditions for such a form of dedicated work. But, for example, the fire in Osijek that required our engagement 0/24 was covered by colleagues in Zagreb, Split and Rijeka.", said Güttler.

Recordings

February and March were very warm, April was interesting in that the first half of the month was extremely warm, even records were broken in parts of Croatia, and the second half of the month was marked by a sudden drop in temperature. 

"When we talk globally about temperature, we have multiple processes, and the year 2023 really stood out as the warmest on record. In the area of ​​the Pacific Ocean, a phenomenon appeared that additionally raised the temperature of the planet, in addition to the global warming we have. I would like to emphasize that we may already be working hard for some of the viewers because every year we talk about breaking records, but the climate is clearly changing. We have much more energy and water vapor, and the conditions are such that an event that would have occurred even without climate change is now 20 to 30 percent stronger.", revealed Güttler.

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Recently, the public debate on climate change has been more in the direction of climate action, how to slow down and eventually stop climate change, he observed. 

"There is more and more talk about how we can accelerate our transition to a society that emits less greenhouse gases because they are the primary cause of climate change. The second set of climate actions is adaptation to climate change, in Croatia we have activated the fire protection system and the flood protection system", he stated. 

In DHMZ, they take care of several early warning systems, he added, and his main message is that we should not sit idly by and count the records that are happening because "today we really have technological solutions that can help us both in mitigation and in adaptation", he concluded is Güttler.

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Landslides and earthquakes

Goran Mazija referred to landslides and the current landslide in Pantovčak. "That landslide appeared from March 5 to 6 and since then it has been more and more active, every rain, including this one today, will certainly cause some subsidence. I'm already slightly nervous, I don't know what awaits me tomorrow, in the morning and tonight, because the water further accelerates the movement", he described, adding that the Office of the President is not in danger.

The Zagreb area is heavily burdened by landslides. We have about 1100 active landslides, and some are calm. In Croatia, apart from Zagreb, the area of ​​Karlovac and Varaždin has the most problems in this regard, Mazija said. Landslides and earthquakes were also commented on by Krešimir Kuk, a seismologist from the Geophysical Department of PMF.

"Every cherry of the soil, especially the stronger one, promotes and accelerates these processes, but earthquakes in principle will not generate them if they are not already ready for such a thing to happen. The amount of water in the soil is very significant, so then these combinations of cherry and some other factors come to the fore", revealed Kuk. Recently, earthquakes hit the area of ​​Slunj and its surroundings, there were a total of ten, of which two were stronger.

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"This caused astonishment, but it is a matter of interpretation. Even the older local population said that they do not remember such strong earthquakes, but if we look at the wider area, the vicinity of Banovina, Banja Luka, where there was a catastrophic earthquake in 1969... These are all close areas.", he said. 

Most of Croatia is active and earthquakes occur in various places. This is not a surprise, he believes, but always when there are no strong earthquakes in an area for a long time, a new one "causes astonishment and it is often interpreted that there were no earthquakes there". explained is a seismologist.

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Cover photo: Pixabay

Author  HrTurizam.hr

4. May 2024.