Can we extrapolate climate in an inner basin? The case of the Red Sea

Sabique Langodan, Luigi Cavaleri, Jesus Portilla, Yasser Abualnaja, Ibrahim Hoteit

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3 Scopus citations


We examine the possibility of making useful climate extrapolations in inner basins. Stressing the role of the local geographic features, for a practical example we focus our attention on the Red Sea. We observe that in spite of being an enclosed and relatively small Sea, its climate conditions are heavily affected by those of the larger neighboring regions, in particular the Mediterranean and the Arabian Seas. Using existing high-resolution information of the recent decades, we use both reasoned extrapolation and knowledge of, past and future, longer term general climatic information to frame what is presently possible to assess for the Red Sea. Specifically, the northern part, influenced by the Mediterranean Sea, shows a clear decreasing trend of both the meteorological and wave conditions in the recent decades. However, within a longer span record of 100 years, this decrease appears to be part of a 70-year cycle, which may be overturning, partly at least, in the coming decades. These trends are consistent with the expectations inferred from regional climatic indices, such as North Atlantic Oscillation and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. No similar long term trend has been found for wave, hence implicitly the wind, conditions in the southern part of the basin. As expected, some correlation exists with the typical patterns of the Indian Ocean, but without any specific indication of a future trend. We suggest that, suitably adapted for the specific local conditions and dominant patterns, similar correlation and physical patterns may exist in several of the enclosed areas of the world, opening the possibility of exploring their possible trends in the future decades.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103151
JournalGlobal and Planetary Change
StatePublished - Feb 28 2020

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): REP/1/3268-01-01, RGC/3/1612-01-01
Acknowledgements: This research was supported by the King Abdulla University of Science and Technology (KAUST) under the virtual Red Sea Initiative (Grant # REP/1/3268-01-01). Sabique Langodan was supported by the General Commission of Survey (GCS), under Project RGC/3/1612-01-01 made by Office of Sponsored research (ORS)/KAUST, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Luigi. Cavaleri worked on this subject during a visit to KAUST. He was also supported by the EU contract 730030 (H2020-EO-2016, “CEASELESS”). Jesús Portilla acknowledges the supporting framework from KAUST, MODEMAT, and project EPN-PIJ-1503.


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