ISSN 2070-7401 (Print), ISSN 2411-0280 (Online)
Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2011, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 84-92

Evolution of temperature regime of the Aral Sea during 1982-2009 according to satellite data

A.I. Ginzburg , A.G. Kostianoy , N.A. Sheremet 
P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences, 36, Nakhimovsky Pr., Moscow, 117997, Russia
Evolution of sea surface temperature (SST) in three regions of the Aral Sea (in the western and eastern areas of the Large Sea and in the Small Sea) during 1982-2009 is investigated on the base of weekly Pathfinder data (quality 3; spatial resolution of 4 km, temperature resolution of 0.1ºC). Regional evolution features of the shear of spring and autumn phases of the seasonal temperature cycle are revealed as compared with the conditionally natural period, dynamics of mean monthly SST values during the warm season is traced. In the relatively deep regions of the western Large Sea and Small Sea, overall shift of spring and autumn phases by 2009 amounted to about a month towards their earlier onset, whereas in the shrinkng eastern Aral they were about 40 and 35 days, respectively. By 2009, maximum values of summer SST in all three regions shifted from mid-August to the second half of July. During the whole period 1982-2009 (1982-2006 for eastern part of the Large Aral), an increase of maximum summer SST occurred, in which case summer SST maximum in the eastern Large Sea was higher than in the western one from the beginning of the 1990s to 2006. Annual range of the mean monthly SSTs in the Large Sea exceeded 28°C by 2009. The revealed changes in temperature regime of the Aral Sea are in good agreement with the predictions made in 1950-1980 in connection with the expected Aral desiccation. An additional factor contributing to these changes, was perhaps the warming in the Central Asian region observed since the 1960s.
Keywords: the Aral Sea, the Large Sea, the Small Sea, sea surface temperature, phase of seasonal temperature cycle
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