1) By means of task-oriented in-situ measurements (meteorological, hydrophysical, chemical and palaeoenvironmental) in the selected “model” regions, obtain the specific data needed to understand the key physical processes.
Generally, enclosed seas, which are the focus of this project, have been well covered by recent and historical data, except for the rapidly changing Aral Sea environment, for which in-situ data was lacking during most of the 1990s, and which is still covered sparsely. Moreover, much of this information will be re-assembled and revisited within the WP3 package. However the existing data only refer to the general oceanographic characterization of the inland seas and their variability, leaving, considerable gaps in the process of determining the specific key processes governing their response to climate change impacts. Focal parameters may vary for the individual seas.
2) For the Aral Sea, estimating the net evaporation rates as a function of the meteorological parameters is likely to imply fine scale measurements of the stratification in the near-surface layer, as well as those of the ionic salt composition of the water.
3) In the Caspian Sea, one of the principal climate change agents is the fluvial discharge from the Volga River. Therefore, the vertical mixing at the base of the upper, freshened layer, as well as the slope cascading, is of primary importance.
4) In the Black Sea, one of the key processes is the horizontal mixing and shelf-deep sea exchanges by eddies shedding from the Rim Current. Therefore, the dynamical properties of such eddies are subject to a detailed field investigation. The sea-going data collections within the project will be organised accordingly.
5) We also intend to take a few short core samples in places with high sedimentation rates and low instrumental data coverage and reconstruct past vegetation and climate changes from pollen analyses, Pb210 chronologies, and changes in sediment facies.