Modelling of the Aral and Caspian seas drying out influence to climate and environmental changes

Slobodan B. Marković, Albert Ruman, Milivoj B. Gavrilov, Thomas Stevens, Matija Zorn, Blaž Komac, Drago Perko

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3986/AGS54304

Abstract

The complete drying out of the Aral and Caspian seas, as isolated continental water bodies, and their potential impact on the climate and environment is examined with numerical simulations. Simulations use the atmospheric general circulation model (ECHAM5) as well as the hydrological discharge (HD) model of the Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie. The dry out is represented by replacing the water surfaces in both of the seas with land surfaces. New land surface elevation is lower, but not lover than 50 m from the present mean sea level. Other parameters in the model remain unchanged. The initial meteorological data is real; starting with January 1, 1989 and lasting until December 31, 1991. The final results were analyzed only for the second, as the first year of simulation was used for the model spinning up.
The drying out of both seas leads to an increase in land surface and average monthly air temperature during the summer, and a decrease of land surface and average monthly air temperature during the winter, above the Caspian Sea. The greatest difference in temperature between dry and not dry cases have the same values, about 7–8 °C in both seasons, while daily extremes of temperature are much more pronounced. In the wider local/regional area, close to both seas, drying out leads to a difference in average annual temperatures by about 1 °C. On a global scale, the average annual temperature remains unchanged and the configuration of the isotherms remain unchanged, except for over some of the continents. In winter, Central Asia becomes cooler, while over Australia, southern Africa, and South America, it becomes slightly less warm. Furthermore, a new heat island occurs in western Sahara during summer.

Keywords

Caspian Sea; Aral Sea; drying out; numerical simulation; air temperature; climate change

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3986/AGS54304

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