Flooding of the Adriatic coastline is predominantly caused by storm surges induced by winds from the south-eastern sector. This phenomenon in Venice is known as acqua alta. We present a study of wind fields favouring storm-surge setups in the Adriatic, including their characteristics in the present climate and their expected characteristics in future scenarios. Analysis is based on (i) measured sea levels in Venice and Bakar (1984–2014), (ii) near-surface wind from ERA5 reanalysis, and (iii) simulations of wind fields with three regional climate models (ALADIN52, RCA4, and RegCM4) forced with several global models (CNRM-CM, MPI-ESM-MR/LR, HadGEM2-ES, EC-EARTH, and IPSL-CM5). For future climates, we considered two scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) and two future periods (2041–2070 and 2071–2100) with respect to the historical 1971–2000 period. It was found that the probability that the frequency, intensity, annual cycle, and spatial structure of the wind inducing the Adriatic storm surges will change in future climates is small. The result is robust and consistent according to all considered criteria—it does not depend on the analysed regional climate models, boundary conditions, climate scenarios, or future time interval.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Adloff F, Somot S, Sevault F et al (2015) Mediterranean Sea response to climate change in an ensemble of twenty first century scenarios. Clim Dyn 45(9-10):2775–2802. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-015-2507-3
AMGI (2018). Press release. https://www.pmf.unizg.hr/geof?@=1kzz9.
Bajo M, Umgiesser G (2010) Storm surge forecast through a combination of dynamic and neural network models. Ocean Model 33(1-2):1–9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocemod.2009.12.007
Bajo M, Zampato L, Umgiesser G, Cucco A, Canestrelli P (2007) A finite element operational model for storm surge prediction in Venice. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 75(1-2):236–249. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2007.02.025
Bajo M, Međugorac I, Umgiesser G, Orlić M (2019) Storm surge and seiche modelling in the Adriatic Sea and the impact of data assimilation. Q J R Meteorol Soc 145(722):2070–2084. https://doi.org/10.1002/qj.3544
Belmonte Rivas M, Stoffelen A (2019) Characterizing ERA-Interim and ERA5 surface wind biases using ASCAT. Ocean Sci 15:831–852. https://doi.org/10.5194/os-15-831-2019
Belušić Vozila A, Güttler I, Ahrens B, Obermann-Hellhund A, Telišman Prtenjak M (2019) Wind over the Adriatic region in CORDEX climate change scenarios. J Geophys Res-Atmos 124(1):110–130. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018JD028552
Belušić A, Prtenjak Telišman M, Güttler I, Ban N, Leutwyler D, Schär C (2018) Near-surface wind variability over the broader Adriatic region: insights from an ensemble of regional climate models. Clim Dyn 50(11-12):4455–4480. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-017-3885-5
Bowen AJ, Inman DL, Simmons VP (1968) Wave set-down and set-up. J Geophys Res 73(8):2569–2577
Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) (2017) ERA5: Fifth generation of ECMWF atmospheric reanalyses of the global climate. Copernicus Climate Change Service Climate Data Store (CDS) 15(2):2020 https://cds.climate.copernicus.eu/cdsapp#!/home
Cerovečki I, Orlić M, Hendershott MC (1997) Adriatic seiche decay and energy loss to the Mediterranean. Deep-Sea Res Pt I 44(12):2007–2029. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0967-0637(97)00056-3
Colin J, Déqué M, Radu R, Somot S (2010) Sensitivity study of heavy precipitation in limited area model climate simulations: influence of the size of the domain and the use of the spectral nudging technique. Tellus A 62(5):591–604. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0870.2010.00467.x
De Zolt S, Lionello P, Malguzzi P, Nuhu A, Tomasin A (2006) The disastrous storm of 4 November 1966 on Italy. Nat Hazard Earth Sys 6:861–879
Dee DP, Uppala SM, Simmons AJ et al (2011) The ERA-interim reanalysis: configuration and performance of the data assimilation system. Q J Roy Meteor Soc 137:553–597. https://doi.org/10.1002/qj.828
Denamiel C, Pranić P, Quentin F, Mihanović H, Vilibić V (2020) Pseudo-global warming projections of extreme wave storms in complex coastal regions: the case of the Adriatic Sea. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-020-05397-x
Dullaart JCM, Muis S, Bloemendaal N et al (2020) Advancing global storm surge modelling using the new ERA5 climate reanalysis. Clim Dyn 54:1007–1021. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-019-05044-0
Dutour Sikirić M, Janeković I, Tomažić I, Kuzmić M, Roland A (2015) Comparison of ALADIN and IFS model wind speeds over the Adriatic. Acta Adriat 6(1):67–82
Fisz M (1963) Probability theory and mathematical statistics. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Malabar
Giorgi F, Lionello P (2008) Climate change projections for the Mediterranean region. Glob Planet Chang 63(2-3):90–104. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2007.09.005
Giorgi F, Coppola E, Solmon F, Mariotti L, Sylla MB, Bi X, Elguindi N, Diro GT, Nair V, Giuliani G et al (2012) RegCM4: model description and preliminary tests over multiple CORDEX domains. Clim Res 52:7–29. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01018
Godin G, Trotti L (1975) Trieste-water levels 1952–1971: a study of the tide, mean level, and seiche activity. Miscellaneous special publication 28. Department of the Environment, Fisheries and Marine Service, Ottawa
Gualdi S, Somot S, Li L et al (2013) The CIRCE simulations: regional climate change projections with realistic representation of the Mediterranean Sea. B Am Meteorol Soc 94(1):65–81. https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00136.1
Hersbach H, Dee D (2016) ERA5 reanalysis is in production. ECMWF Newsletter 147(7)
Hersbach H, de Rosnay P, Bell B, Schepers D, Simmons A, Soci C, Abdalla S, Alonso Balmaseda M, Balsamo G, Bechtold P, Berrisford P, Bidlot J, de Boisséson E, Bonavita M, Browne P, Buizza R, Dahlgren P, Dee D, Dragani R, Diamantakis M, Flemming J, Forbes R, Geer A, Haiden T, Hólm E, Haimberger L, Hogan R, Horányi A, Janisková M, Laloyaux P, Lopez P, Muñoz-Sabater J, Peubey C, Radu R, Richardson D, Thépaut JN, Vitart F, Yang X, Zsótér E, Zuo H (2018) Operational global reanalysis: progress, future directions and synergies with NWP, ECMWF ERA Report Series 27. https://doi.org/10.21957/tkic6g3wm
Hersbach H, Bell B, Berrisford P, Horányi A, Sabater JM, Nicolas J, Radu R, Schepers D, Simmons A, Soci C, Dee D (2019) Global reanalysis: goodbye ERA-Interim, hello ERA5. ECMWF Newsletter 159:17–24. https://doi.org/10.21957/vf291hehd7
IPCC (2013) Climate change 2013: the physical science basis. In: Stocker TF, Qin D, Plattner G-K, Tignor M, Allen SK, Boschung J, Nauels A, Xia Y, Bex V, Midgley PM (eds) Contribution of working group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/
Jacob D, Petersen J, Eggert B et al (2014) EURO-CORDEX: new high-resolution climate change projections for European impact research. Reg Environ Chang 14(2):563–578. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-013-0499-2
Janeković I, Kuzmić M (2005) Numerical simulation of the Adriatic Sea principal tidal constituents. Ann Geophys 23:3207–3218. https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-23-3207-2005
Kotlarski S, Keuler K, Christensen OB et al (2014) Regional climate modeling on European scales: a joint standard evaluation of the EURO-CORDEX RCM ensemble. Geosci Model Dev 7(4):1297–1333. https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-7-1297-2014
Leduc M, Laprise R (2009) Regional climate model sensitivity to domain size. Clim Dyn 32(6):833–854. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-008-0400-z
Lionello P, Cavaleri L, Nissen KM, Pino C, Raicich F, Ulbrich U (2012a) Severe marine storms in the northern Adriatic: characteristics and trends. Phys Chem Earth 40(41):93–105. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pce.2010.10.002
Lionello P, Galati MB, Elvini E (2012b) Extreme storm surge and wind wave climate scenario simulations at the Venetian littoral. Phys Chem Earth 40:86–92. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pce.2010.04.001
Marcos M, Tsimplis MN (2008) Coastal sea level trends in Southern Europe. Geophys J Int 175:70–82. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-246X.2008.03892.x
Marcos M, Jordà G, Gomis D, Pérez B (2011) Changes in storm surges in Southern Europe from a regional model under climate change scenarios. Glob Planet Chang 77(3-4):116–128. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2011.04.002
Međugorac I, Pasarić M, Orlić M (2015) Severe flooding along the eastern Adriatic coast: the case of 1 December 2008. Ocean Dyn 65(6):817–830. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10236-015-0835-9
Međugorac I, Pasarić M, Pasarić Z, Orlić M (2016) Two recent storm-surge episodes in the Adriatic. Int J Safety Sec Eng 6(3):589–596. https://doi.org/10.2495/SAFE-V6-N3-589-596
Međugorac I, Orlić M, Janeković I, Pasarić Z, Pasarić M (2018) Adriatic storm surges and related cross-basin sea-level slope. J Mar Syst 181:79–90. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmarsys.2018.02.005
Mel R, Sterl A, Lionello P (2013) High resolution climate projection of storm surge at the Venetian coast. Nat Hazard Earth Sys 13(4):1135–1142. https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-13-1135-2013
Menendez M, García-Díez M, Fita L, Fernández J, Méndez FJ, Gutiérrez JM (2014) High-resolution sea wind hindcasts over the Mediterranean area. Clim Dyn 42(7-8):1857–1872. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-013-1912-8
Moss RH, Edmonds JA, Hibbard KA et al (2010) The next generation of scenarios for climate change research and assessment. Nature 463:747–756. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature08823
Orlić M (1983) On the frictionless influence of planetary atmospheric waves on the Adriatic Sea level. J Phys Oceanogr 13:1301–1306
Orlić M, Pasarić M (2000) Sea-level changes and crustal movements recorded along the east Adriatic coast. Nuovo Cimento C 23(4):351–364
Orlić M, Kuzmić M, Pasarić Z (1994) Response of the Adriatic Sea to the bora and sirocco forcing. Cont Shelf Res 14(1):91–116. https://doi.org/10.1016/0278-4343(94)90007-8
Orlić M, Pasarić M, Pasarić Z (2018) Mediterranean sea-level variability in the second half of the twentieth century: a Bayesian approach to closing the budget. Pure Appl Geophys 175:3973–3988. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00024-018-1974-y
Pasarić M, Orlić M (1992) Response of the Adriatic Sea level to the planetary-scale atmospheric forcing. Geogr Monog Ser 69:29–39. https://doi.org/10.1029/GM069p0029
Pasarić M, Orlić M (2001) Long-term meteorological preconditioning of the North Adriatic coastal floods. Cont Shelf Res 21:263–278. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0278-4343(00)00078-9
Pasarić M, Pasarić Z, Orlić M (2000) Response of the Adriatic sea level to the air pressure and wind forcing at low frequencies (0.01 – 0.1 cpd). J Geophys Res 105:11423–11439. https://doi.org/10.1029/2000JC900023
Pawlowicz R, Beardsley B, Lentz S (2002) Classical tidal harmonic analysis including error estimates in MATLAB using T_TIDE. Comput Geosci 28:929–937. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0098-3004(02)00013-4
Perkins SE, Pitman AJ, Holbrook NJ, McAneney J (2007) Evaluation of the AR4 climate models’ simulated daily maximum temperature, minimum temperature, and precipitation over Australia using probability density functions. J Clim 20(17):4356–4376
Porcu F, Aragão L, Aguzzi M, Valentini A, Debele S, Kumar P, Loupis M, Montesarchio M, Mercogliano P, Di Sabatino S (2020) Extreme wave events attribution using ERA5 datasets for storm-surge studies in the northern Adriatic Seae. EGU General Assembly 2020. https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-19443
Raicich F, Orlić M, Vilibić I, Malačič V (1999) A case study of the Adriatic seiches (December 1997). Nuovo Cimento C 22(5):715–526
Robinson A, Tomasin A, Artegiani A (1973) Flooding of Venice: phenomenology and prediction of the Adriatic storm surge. Q J Roy Meteor Soc 99(422):688–692. https://doi.org/10.1002/qj.49709942210
Ruti PM, Somot S, Giorgi F et al (2016) MED-CORDEX initiative for Mediterranean climate studies. B Am Meteorol Soc 97(7):1187–1208. https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-14-00176.1
Samuelsson P, Jones CG, Willén U, Ullerstig A, Gollvik S, Hansson ULF, Jansson E, Kjellstro MC, Nikulin G, Wyser K (2011) The Rossby Centre regional climate model RCA3: model description and performance. Tellus A 63(1):4–23. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0870.2010.00478.x
Taylor KE, Stouffer RJ, Meehl GA (2012) An overview of CMIP5 and the experiment design. B Am Meteorol Soc 93(4):485–498. https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00094.1
Tosi L, Teatini P, Strozzi T (2013) Natural versus anthropogenic subsidence of Venice. Sci Rep-UK 3:2710. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep02710
Trigo IF, Davies TD (2002) Meteorological conditions associated with sea surges in Venice: a 40 year climatology. Int J Climatol 22(7):787–803. https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.719
Vignudelli S, De Biasio F, Scozzari A, Zecchetto S, Papa A (2019) Sea level trends and variability in the Adriatic Sea and around Venice. In: International Association of Geodesy Symposia. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/1345_2018_51
Vilibić I, Šepić J, Pasarić M, Orlić M (2017) The Adriatic Sea: a long-standing laboratory for sea level studies. Pure Appl Geophys 174(10):3765–3811. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00024-017-1625-8
Žagar N, Honzak L, Žabkar R, Skok G, Rakovec J, Ceglar A (2013) Uncertainties in a regional climate model in the midlatitudes due to the nesting technique and the domain size. J Geophys Res-Atmos 118(12):6189–6199. https://doi.org/10.1002/jgrd.50525
Many thanks to Hrvoje Mihanović (Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography, Split) for his help with Matlab scripts and fruitful discussion. The EURO-CORDEX data used in this work were obtained from the Earth System Grid Federation server (https://esgfdata.dkrz.de/projects/esgf-dkrz/). The Med-CORDEX data used in this work were obtained from the Med-CORDEX server (www.medcordex.eu). We are grateful to all EURO-CORDEX and Med-CORDEX modelling groups that performed the simulations and made their data available. We acknowledge the World Climate Research Programme’s Working Group on Coupled Modelling, which is responsible for CMIP, and we thank the climate modelling groups for producing and making available their model output. And last but not least, many thanks to anonymous reviewer for his/her helpful comments and suggestions which made this work better.
This work was supported by the Croatian Science Foundation under the projects CARE (grant number HRZZ-IP-2013-11-2831) and MAUD (grant number HRZZ-IP-2018-01-9849). RegCM4 simulations analysed in this study were performed as a part of the Croatian Ministry of Environment and Energy project “Strengthening the Capacity of the Ministry of Environment and Energy for Climate Change Adaptation and development of the Draft Strategy for Climate Change Adaptation (Contract number: TF/HR/P3-M1-O1-010)” funded by the EU Transition Facility.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
Electronic supplementary material
Appendix 1. Estimation of sea-level trends and difference between two locations
Appendix 1. Estimation of sea-level trends and difference between two locations
Here, we describe the method used to determine non-atmospherically related sea-level trends in Venice and Bakar. Generally, different processes can cause changes of the mean sea level that are recorded at a location by a tide gauge: direct atmospheric forcing, thermohaline processes, mass changes, and crustal movements. Here, it was necessary to separate the sea-level trend caused by direct atmospheric forcing from that caused by other processes. To do so, we use the fact that sea-level anomalies, i.e. departures of sea level from the mean seasonal cycle, are highly correlated with respective anomalies of air pressure (Orlić and Pasarić 2000). Parameters of linear regression between the two time series are applied to air pressure anomalies to obtain the sea-level variability due to direct atmospheric forcing. Once this part is subtracted from the observed sea-level data, the residual time series exhibits a trend that is presumably related to the latter three processes.
The analysis was conducted on time series of monthly mean values of sea level (zm) and air pressure (pm). These were used to calculate the mean seasonal cycles of sea level (zs) and air pressure (ps) as long-term averages of values for each month and to obtain the respective anomalies (za = zm − zs; pa = pm−ps). Linear regression between sea-level anomalies and air pressure anomalies, za = A·pa + ε, where ε is the error term, yields an adjustment of sea level in the northern Adriatic (A = − 2.15 cm/hPa at Bakar, A = − 2.07 cm/hPa at Venice, with correlation coefficient r = 0.84 for Bakar, r = 0.81 for Venice) that is two times stronger than the inverse barometer effect. The overshoot is due to wind forcing that acts coherently and in the same sense as the air pressure forcing (Pasarić et al. 2000). The non-seasonal sea-level variability induced by air pressure and wind forcing, zp = A·pa, and subsequently the residual time series, zr = za − zp, that is related to thermohaline forcing, global mass change, and vertical land movements is evaluated to determine the trend in sea level that is not imposed by the direct atmospheric forcing. Time series of annual mean sea level, the atmospherically induced sea level, and the residual part with the respective linear trends (a, ap, ar) are shown in Fig. 13. The linear trends with their uncertainty intervals were determined using Bayesian statistics to take into account autocorrelation within the time series (Orlić et al. 2018). The sea-level trends are much larger than those reported for the 1960–2000 interval (Marcos and Tsimplis 2008). They reflect the fact that over the last two decades, the sea-level rise in the Adriatic and elsewhere in the Mediterranean has been accelerating (Orlić et al. 2018). The trend in Venice is more consistent with the values for the 1993–2015 period (Vignudelli et al. 2019). Furthermore, the total sea-level rise (a), as well as the rise of the residual sea level (ar), is much higher in Venice than in Bakar. The difference can partly be attributed to the land subsidence in Venice that is still ongoing at a rate of some 1.0 ± 0.7 mm/year (Tosi et al. 2013). However, a detailed analysis of sea-level trends is beyond the scope of this study.
About this article
Cite this article
Međugorac, I., Pasarić, M. & Güttler, I. Will the wind associated with the Adriatic storm surges change in future climate?. Theor Appl Climatol 143, 1–18 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-020-03379-x