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Climate change: analysis of time series of sea water temperature at the Belgian coast. Report CREST/X/DVDE/201906/EN/TR01
Van den Eynde, D.; Ponsar, S.; Ozer, J. (2019). Climate change: analysis of time series of sea water temperature at the Belgian coast. Report CREST/X/DVDE/201906/EN/TR01. Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Operational Directorate Natural Environment: Brussels. vi, 19 pp.

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Document type: Project report

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  • Climate Resilient Coast, more

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Abstract
    Change in sea water temperature in the Belgian coastal water are analysed. Monthly mean data in the Belgian coastal water were gathered from three different data sets. The long-term trends and the seasonal cycles were separated and the method of Visser et al. (1996) is used to fill in data gaps. The sea water temperature shows a natural variability with a period of 7 to 8 years, possibly related to the variability in the North Atlantic Ocillation Index (NAO), which was already noted by Sündermann et al. (1996). The clear increase in sea water temperature around 1990 to 1995 is visible in the three data sets. The linear regression of the long-term trend for the data set from the World Ocean Data Base (WODB) for the period 1948-2015 is 0.010°C/year, while the 4Demon data set gives significantly higher increase of temperature, of 0.045°C / year. The values of the WODB is lower that found in literature, that expect an increase of 2°C to 4°C (Ponsar et al., 2007; Hulme et al., 2002) or found in Van den Eynde et al., 2008, where for the Southern Bight of the North Sea, a value of 0.034°C / year was found. The analysis stresses the importance of longer data sets to get reliable data and indicate the natural variability of the sea water temperature.

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