AMS2005-10: Spatio-temporal variability of ocean temperature in the Portugal Current System

Ricardo Lemos and Bruno Sanso
12/31/2005 09:00 AM
Applied Mathematics & Statistics
A dynamic process convolution model (DPCM) is used to investigate the evolution and spatial distribution of monthly ocean temperature anomalies in the Portugal Current System. The analysis is performed with 20th century standard depth measurements from the National Oceanographic Data Center, ranging from the surface to 500 m depth.

The proposed DPCM decomposes the temporal variability into short-term non-linear components and long-term linear trends, with both components varying smoothly across latitude, longitude and depth. An important feature of the DPCM is that it allows the assessment of trend significance without ad hoc corrections, since the residuals are spatially and temporally uncorrelated. In the analyzed period, an overall warming of coastal surface waters off the west Iberian Peninsula is found, together with fading cross-shelf temperature gradients and a shallowing of the coastal thermocline. Since previous studies also found that upwelling-favorable winds have weakened from the 1940s onward, these results most likely reflect a long-term weakening of the coastal upwelling regime. Transient periods of temperature change are also described and associated with known variability in the North Atlantic, and a final discussion on the link between the observed trends and anthropogenic forcing is presented.