TEMPERATURE, SALINITY AND OXYGEN CLIMATOLOGY OF AFRICAN CONTINENTAL SHELF WATER, SOUTH OF THE EQUATOR, AND CHANGES SINCE 1945

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Authors

Stephanie de Villiers 

Abstract

The first temperature, salinity and oxygen climatologies for waters of the continuous southern African continental shelf is presented. It is based on oceanographic data collected since 1945, sub-sampled at depths of 5, 50 and 100 m on a mixed-spatial grid with 0.25° to 0.5° resolution. The climatologies capture spatial heterogeneities and seasonal variability in key ocean variables for the southern African shelf in unique detail. The results correspond relatively well with biogeographic boundaries informed by classification schemes grounded in taxonomy, but questions the value of the Large Marine Ecosystem approach. Analysis of decadal trends demonstrates the inherent complexity and spatial heterogeneity associated with environmental variability, and suggest the possibility that decadal periodicities are in the process of being disrupted by a longer-term trend. The overall pattern is that southern African West and South coast shelf waters are becoming warmer, except for some upwelling areas, where cooling is evident. Benguela and Agulhas Bank shelf water are also becoming more oxygen depleted.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31223/X5RS52

Subjects

Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Keywords

ocean, Africa, climate change, temperature, continental shelf, seawater, climatology, oxygen, biogeography

Dates

Published: 2021-06-30 14:50

License

CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

Additional Metadata

Conflict of interest statement:
None

Data Availability (Reason not available):
Available from the author upon request.

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