Inhaltspezifische Aktionen

Eastern Mediterranean Marine Heatwaves

Eastern Mediterranean Marine Heatwaves | duration: 14/07/2020 - 31/03/2022




  • Context
Marine heatwaves are temporary, anomalously warm ocean water events caused by a combination of oceanographic and atmospheric processes. Marine heatwaves can differ according to their spatial extent and duration. They can rapidly influence and change the structure and function of ecosystems, thereby also affecting biodiversity. However, there is still limited knowledge on the main drivers for marine heatwaves and current research mainly concentrates on mass mortalities as triggering factor. This is precisely the starting point of the project EM-MHeatWaves. The project aims at analysing the impacts and interactions of marine ecosystems, atmospheric forcing and ocean circulation in the context of marine heatwaves in the Eastern Mediterranean in the past 35 years.

Based on ocean simulation and climate models, the project strives to develop an enhanced understanding of oceanographic processes and the role of atmospheric forcing. This will contribute to the analysis of marine heatwaves’ characteristics in the Eastern Mediterranean. In consideration of marine biogeochemical cycles and related ecosystem impacts triggered by rising ocean temperatures, the project analyses the statistical characteristics of the oceanic temperatures and assesses the corresponding ocean circulation as well as the contribution of the atmospheric circulation.

Moreover, future projections based on model runs will help to analyse specific characteristics of extreme marine heatwaves in the Eastern Mediterranean with regard to the duration, severity and spatial extent. EM-MHeatWaves is a collaborative research project between ZEU, the department of Marine Sciences of the University of the Aegean, Greece, and the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Greece.

The project will strengthen academic relations between Germany and Greece, foster complementary joint research and support the qualification of young academics. The project focusses on the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 (Life Below Water) and Goal 15 (Life on Land).
  • Principal Investigator
  • Cooperation Partners

Center for International Development & Environmental Research

Justus-Liebig-University, Giessen (Germany)

Department of Geography

  • University of the Aegean (UAegean), Greece
  • Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), Greece
  • Acknowledgements
The project is funded by the DAAD PPP Programme