Mediterranean Sea

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"Mediterranean" redirects here. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_0

For other uses, see Mediterranean (disambiguation). Mediterranean Sea_sentence_1

Mediterranean Sea_table_infobox_0

Mediterranean SeaMediterranean Sea_header_cell_0_0_0
LocationMediterranean Sea_header_cell_0_1_0 Western Europe, Southern Europe, North Africa and Western AsiaMediterranean Sea_cell_0_1_1
CoordinatesMediterranean Sea_header_cell_0_2_0 Mediterranean Sea_cell_0_2_1
TypeMediterranean Sea_header_cell_0_3_0 SeaMediterranean Sea_cell_0_3_1
Primary inflowsMediterranean Sea_header_cell_0_4_0 Atlantic Ocean, Sea of Marmara, Nile, Ebro, Rhône, Chelif, PoMediterranean Sea_cell_0_4_1
Basin countriesMediterranean Sea_header_cell_0_5_0 about 60Mediterranean Sea_cell_0_5_1
Surface areaMediterranean Sea_header_cell_0_7_0 2,500,000 km (970,000 sq mi)Mediterranean Sea_cell_0_7_1
Average depthMediterranean Sea_header_cell_0_8_0 1,500 m (4,900 ft)Mediterranean Sea_cell_0_8_1
Max. depthMediterranean Sea_header_cell_0_9_0 5,267 m (17,280 ft)Mediterranean Sea_cell_0_9_1
Water volumeMediterranean Sea_header_cell_0_10_0 3,750,000 km (900,000 cu mi)Mediterranean Sea_cell_0_10_1
Residence timeMediterranean Sea_header_cell_0_11_0 80–100 yearsMediterranean Sea_cell_0_11_1
IslandsMediterranean Sea_header_cell_0_13_0 3300+Mediterranean Sea_cell_0_13_1
SettlementsMediterranean Sea_header_cell_0_14_0 Alexandria, Barcelona, Algiers, Izmir, Rome, Athens, Beirut, Tripoli, Tunis, Tangier, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Split, (full list)Mediterranean Sea_cell_0_14_1

The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_2

Although the sea is sometimes considered a part of the Atlantic Ocean, it is usually referred to as a separate body of water. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_3

Geological evidence indicates that around 5.9 million years ago, the Mediterranean was cut off from the Atlantic and was partly or completely desiccated over a period of some 600,000 years during the Messinian salinity crisis before being refilled by the Zanclean flood about 5.3 million years ago. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_4

It covers an area of about 2,500,000 km (970,000 sq mi), representing 0.7% of the global ocean surface, but its connection to the Atlantic via the Strait of Gibraltar—the narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates Spain in Europe from Morocco in Africa—is only 14 km (9 mi) wide. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_5

In oceanography, it is sometimes called the Eurafrican Mediterranean Sea, the European Mediterranean Sea or the African Mediterranean Sea to distinguish it from mediterranean seas elsewhere. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_6

The Mediterranean Sea has an average depth of 1,500 m (4,900 ft) and the deepest recorded point is 5,267 m (17,280 ft) in the Calypso Deep in the Ionian Sea. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_7

It lies between latitudes 30° and 46° N and longitudes 6° W and 36° E. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_8

Its west–east length, from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Gulf of Iskenderun, on the southeastern coast of Turkey, is about 4,000 kilometres (2,500 mi). Mediterranean Sea_sentence_9

The sea was an important route for merchants and travelers of ancient times, facilitating trade and cultural exchange between peoples of the region. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_10

The history of the Mediterranean region is crucial to understanding the origins and development of many modern societies. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_11

The Roman Empire maintained nautical hegemony over the sea for centuries. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_12

The countries surrounding the Mediterranean in clockwise order are Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco; Malta and Cyprus are island countries in the sea. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_13

In addition, the Gaza Strip and the British Overseas Territories of Gibraltar and Akrotiri and Dhekelia have coastlines on the sea. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_14

Names and etymology Mediterranean Sea_section_0

The Ancient Egyptians called the Mediterranean Wadj-wr/Wadj-Wer/Wadj-Ur. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_15

The Ancient Greeks called the Mediterranean simply ἡ θάλασσα (hē thálassa; "the Sea") or sometimes ἡ μεγάλη θάλασσα (hē megálē thálassa; "the Great Sea"), ἡ ἡμέτερα θάλασσα (hē hēmétera thálassa; "Our Sea"), or ἡ θάλασσα ἡ καθ'ἡμᾶς (hē thálassa hē kath’hēmâs; "the sea around us"). Mediterranean Sea_sentence_16

The Romans called it Mare Magnum ("Great Sea") or Mare Internum ("Internal Sea") and, starting with the Roman Empire, Mare Nostrum ("Our Sea"). Mediterranean Sea_sentence_17

The term Mare Mediterrāneum appears later: Solinus apparently used this in the 3rd century, but the earliest extant witness to it is in the 6th century, in Isidore of Seville. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_18

It means 'in the middle of land, inland' in Latin, a compound of medius ("middle"), terra ("land, earth"), and -āneus ("having the nature of"). Mediterranean Sea_sentence_19

The Latin word is a calque of Greek μεσόγειος (mesógeios; "inland"), from μέσος (mésos, "in the middle") and γήινος (gḗinos, "of the earth"), from γῆ (gê, "land, earth"). Mediterranean Sea_sentence_20

The original meaning may have been 'the sea in the middle of the earth', rather than 'the sea enclosed by land'. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_21

Ancient Iranians called it the "Roman Sea", in Classic Persian texts was called Daryāy-e Rōm (دریای روم) which may be from Middle Persian form, Zrēh ī Hrōm (𐭦𐭫𐭩𐭤 𐭩 𐭤𐭫𐭥𐭬). Mediterranean Sea_sentence_22

The Carthaginians called it the "Syrian Sea". Mediterranean Sea_sentence_23

In ancient Syrian texts, Phoenician epics and in the Hebrew Bible, it was primarily known as the "Great Sea", HaYam HaGadol, (Numbers; Book of Joshua; Ezekiel) or simply as "The Sea" (1 Kings). Mediterranean Sea_sentence_24

However, it has also been called the "Hinder Sea" because of its location on the west coast of Greater Syria or the Holy Land (and therefore behind a person facing the east), which is sometimes translated as "Western Sea". Mediterranean Sea_sentence_25

Another name was the "Sea of the Philistines", (Book of Exodus), from the people inhabiting a large portion of its shores near the Israelites. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_26

In Modern Hebrew, it is called HaYam HaTikhon 'the Middle Sea'. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_27

In Classic Persian texts was called Daryāy-e Šām (دریای شام) "The Western Sea" or "Syrian Sea". Mediterranean Sea_sentence_28

In Modern Arabic, it is known as al-Baḥr [al-Abyaḍ] al-Mutawassiṭ (البحر [الأبيض] المتوسط) 'the [White] Middle Sea'. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_29

In Islamic and older Arabic literature, it was Baḥr al-Rūm(ī) (بحر الروم or بحر الرومي}) 'the Sea of the Romans' or 'the Roman Sea'. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_30

At first, that name referred to only the Eastern Mediterranean, but it was later extended to the whole Mediterranean. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_31

Other Arabic names were Baḥr al-šām(ī) (بحر الشام) ("the Sea of Syria") and Baḥr al-Maghrib (بحرالمغرب) ("the Sea of the West"). Mediterranean Sea_sentence_32

In Turkish, it is the Akdeniz 'the White Sea'; in Ottoman, ﺁق دكيز, which sometimes means only the Aegean Sea. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_33

The origin of the name is not clear, as it is not known in earlier Greek, Byzantine or Islamic sources. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_34

It may be to contrast with the Black Sea. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_35

In Persian, the name was translated as Baḥr-i Safīd, which was also used in later Ottoman Turkish. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_36

It is probably the origin of the colloquial Greek phrase Άσπρη Θάλασσα (Άspri Thálassa, lit. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_37

"White Sea"). Mediterranean Sea_sentence_38

Johann Knobloch claims that in classical antiquity, cultures in the Levant used colours to refer to the cardinal points: black referred to the north (explaining the name Black Sea), yellow or blue to east, red to south (e.g., the Red Sea), and white to west. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_39

This would explain the Greek Άspri Thálassa, the Bulgarian Byalo More, the Turkish Akdeniz, and the Arab nomenclature described above, lit. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_40

"White Sea". Mediterranean Sea_sentence_41

History Mediterranean Sea_section_1

Main article: History of the Mediterranean region Mediterranean Sea_sentence_42

Ancient civilizations Mediterranean Sea_section_2

Several ancient civilizations were located around the Mediterranean shores and were greatly influenced by their proximity to the sea. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_43

It provided routes for trade, colonization, and war, as well as food (from fishing and the gathering of other seafood) for numerous communities throughout the ages. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_44

Due to the shared climate, geology, and access to the sea, cultures centered on the Mediterranean tended to have some extent of intertwined culture and history. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_45

Two of the most notable Mediterranean civilizations in classical antiquity were the Greek city states and the Phoenicians, both of which extensively colonized the coastlines of the Mediterranean. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_46

Later, when Augustus founded the Roman Empire, the Romans referred to the Mediterranean as Mare Nostrum ("Our Sea"). Mediterranean Sea_sentence_47

For the next 400 years, the Roman Empire completely controlled the Mediterranean Sea and virtually all its coastal regions from Gibraltar to the Levant. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_48

Darius I of Persia, who conquered Ancient Egypt, built a canal linking the Mediterranean to the Red Sea. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_49

Darius's canal was wide enough for two triremes to pass each other with oars extended, and required four days to traverse. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_50

In 2019, the archaeological team of experts from Underwater Research Center of the Akdeniz University (UA) revealed a shipwreck dating back 3,600 years in the Mediterranean Sea in Turkey. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_51

1.5 tons of copper ingots found in the ship was used to estimate its age. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_52

The Governor of Antalya Munir Karaloğlu described this valuable discovery as the "Göbeklitepe of the underwater world”. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_53

It has been confirmed that the shipwreck, dating back to 1600 BC, is older than the "Uluburun Shipwreck" dating back to 1400 BC. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_54

Middle Ages and empires Mediterranean Sea_section_3

The Western Roman Empire collapsed around 476 AD. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_55

Temporarily the east was again dominant as Roman power lived on in the Byzantine Empire formed in the 4th century from the eastern half of the Roman Empire. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_56

Another power arose in the 7th century, and with it the religion of Islam, which soon swept across from the east; at its greatest extent, the Arab Empire controlled 75% of the Mediterranean region and left a lasting footprint on its eastern and southern shores. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_57

The Arab invasions disrupted the trade relations between Western and Eastern Europe while disrupting trade routes with Eastern Asian Empires. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_58

This, however, had the indirect effect of promoting the trade across the Caspian Sea. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_59

The export of grains from Egypt was re-routed towards the Eastern world. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_60

Products from East Asian empires, like silk and spices, were carried from Egypt to ports like Venice and Constantinople by sailors and Jewish merchants. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_61

The Viking raids further disrupted the trade in western Europe and brought it to a halt. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_62

However, the Norsemen developed the trade from Norway to the White Sea, while also trading in luxury goods from Spain and the Mediterranean. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_63

The Byzantines in the mid-8th century retook control of the area around the north-eastern part of the Mediterranean. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_64

Venetian ships from the 9th century armed themselves to counter the harassment by Arabs while concentrating trade of Asian goods in Venice. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_65

The Fatimids maintained trade relations with the Italian city-states like Amalfi and Genoa before the Crusades, according to the Cairo Geniza documents. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_66

A document dated 996 mentions Amalfian merchants living in Cairo. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_67

Another letter states that the Genoese had traded with Alexandria. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_68

The caliph al-Mustansir had allowed Amalfian merchants to reside in Jerusalem about 1060 in place of the Latin hospice. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_69

The Crusades led to flourishing of trade between Europe and the outremer region. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_70

Genoa, Venica and Pisa created colonies in regions controlled by the Crusaders and came to control the trade with the Orient. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_71

These colonies also allowed them to trade with the Eastern world. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_72

Though the fall of the Crusader states and attempts at banning of trade relations with Muslim states by the Popes temporarily disrupted the trade with the Orient, it however continued. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_73

Europe started to revive, however, as more organized and centralized states began to form in the later Middle Ages after the Renaissance of the 12th century. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_74

Ottoman power based in Anatolia continued to grow, and in 1453 extinguished the Byzantine Empire with the Conquest of Constantinople. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_75

Ottomans gained control of much of the sea in the 16th century and maintained naval bases in southern France (1543–1544), Algeria and Tunisia. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_76

Barbarossa, the famous Ottoman captain is a symbol of this domination with the victory of the Battle of Preveza (1538). Mediterranean Sea_sentence_77

The Battle of Djerba (1560) marked the apex of Ottoman naval domination in the Mediterranean. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_78

As the naval prowess of the European powers increased, they confronted Ottoman expansion in the region when the Battle of Lepanto (1571) checked the power of the Ottoman Navy. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_79

This was the last naval battle to be fought primarily between galleys. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_80

The Barbary pirates of Northwest Africa preyed on Christian shipping and coastlines in the Western Mediterranean Sea. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_81

According to Robert Davis, from the 16th to 19th centuries, pirates captured 1 million to 1.25 million Europeans as slaves. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_82

The development of oceanic shipping began to affect the entire Mediterranean. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_83

Once, most trade between Western Europe and the East had passed through the region, but after the 1490s the development of a sea route to the Indian Ocean allowed the importation of Asian spices and other goods through the Atlantic ports of western Europe. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_84

The sea remained strategically important. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_85

British mastery of Gibraltar ensured their influence in Africa and Southwest Asia. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_86

Wars included Naval warfare in the Mediterranean during World War I and Mediterranean theatre of World War II. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_87

21st century and migrations Mediterranean Sea_section_4

Further information: European migrant crisis, List of migrant vessel incidents on the Mediterranean Sea, and Timeline of the European migrant crisis Mediterranean Sea_sentence_88

In 2013, the Maltese president described the Mediterranean Sea as a "cemetery" due to the large number of migrants who drowned there after their boats capsized. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_89

European Parliament president Martin Schulz said in 2014 that Europe's migration policy "turned the Mediterranean into a graveyard", referring to the number of drowned refugees in the region as a direct result of the policies. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_90

An Azerbaijani official described the sea as "a burial ground ... where people die". Mediterranean Sea_sentence_91

Following the 2013 Lampedusa migrant shipwreck, the Italian government decided to strengthen the national system for the patrolling of the Mediterranean Sea by authorising "Operation Mare Nostrum", a military and humanitarian mission in order to rescue the migrants and arrest the traffickers of immigrants. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_92

In 2015, more than one million migrants crossed the Mediterranean Sea into Europe. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_93

Italy was particularly affected by the European migrant crisis. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_94

Since 2013, over 700,000 migrants have landed in Italy, mainly sub-Saharan Africans. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_95

Geography Mediterranean Sea_section_5

The Mediterranean Sea connects: Mediterranean Sea_sentence_96

Mediterranean Sea_unordered_list_0

The 163 km (101 mi) long artificial Suez Canal in the southeast connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_97

Large islands in the Mediterranean include: Mediterranean Sea_sentence_98

Mediterranean Sea_unordered_list_1

The Alpine arc, which also has a great meteorological impact on the Mediterranean area, touches the Mediterranean in the west in the area around Nice and in the east in the area around Trieste towards Duino and Barcola. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_99

The typical Mediterranean climate has hot, humid, and dry summers and mild, rainy winters. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_100

Crops of the region include olives, grapes, oranges, tangerines, and cork. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_101

Marginal Seas Mediterranean Sea_section_6

The Mediterranean Sea includes 12 marginal seas: Mediterranean Sea_sentence_102

Mediterranean Sea_table_general_1

NumberMediterranean Sea_header_cell_1_0_0 SeaMediterranean Sea_header_cell_1_0_1 Area (Km)Mediterranean Sea_header_cell_1_0_2 Marginal CountriesMediterranean Sea_header_cell_1_0_3
1Mediterranean Sea_cell_1_1_0 Libyan SeaMediterranean Sea_cell_1_1_1 350,000Mediterranean Sea_cell_1_1_2 Libya, Greece, Malta, ItalyMediterranean Sea_cell_1_1_3
2Mediterranean Sea_cell_1_2_0 Levantine SeaMediterranean Sea_cell_1_2_1 320,000Mediterranean Sea_cell_1_2_2 Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, United KingdomMediterranean Sea_cell_1_2_3
3Mediterranean Sea_cell_1_3_0 Tyrrhenian SeaMediterranean Sea_cell_1_3_1 275,000Mediterranean Sea_cell_1_3_2 Italy, FranceMediterranean Sea_cell_1_3_3
4Mediterranean Sea_cell_1_4_0 Aegean SeaMediterranean Sea_cell_1_4_1 214,000Mediterranean Sea_cell_1_4_2 Turkey, GreeceMediterranean Sea_cell_1_4_3
5Mediterranean Sea_cell_1_5_0 Ionian SeaMediterranean Sea_cell_1_5_1 169,000Mediterranean Sea_cell_1_5_2 Greece, Albania, ItalyMediterranean Sea_cell_1_5_3
6Mediterranean Sea_cell_1_6_0 Balearic SeaMediterranean Sea_cell_1_6_1 150,000Mediterranean Sea_cell_1_6_2 France, SpainMediterranean Sea_cell_1_6_3
7Mediterranean Sea_cell_1_7_0 Adriatic SeaMediterranean Sea_cell_1_7_1 138,000Mediterranean Sea_cell_1_7_2 Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Italy, Montenegro, SloveniaMediterranean Sea_cell_1_7_3
8Mediterranean Sea_cell_1_8_0 Sea of SardiniaMediterranean Sea_cell_1_8_1 120,000Mediterranean Sea_cell_1_8_2 Italy, SpainMediterranean Sea_cell_1_8_3
9Mediterranean Sea_cell_1_9_0 Sea of CreteMediterranean Sea_cell_1_9_1 95,000Mediterranean Sea_cell_1_9_2 Greece, Libya, EgyptMediterranean Sea_cell_1_9_3
10Mediterranean Sea_cell_1_10_0 Ligurian SeaMediterranean Sea_cell_1_10_1 80,000Mediterranean Sea_cell_1_10_2 Italy, FranceMediterranean Sea_cell_1_10_3
11Mediterranean Sea_cell_1_11_0 Alboran SeaMediterranean Sea_cell_1_11_1 53,000Mediterranean Sea_cell_1_11_2 Spain, Morocco, Algeria, United KingdomMediterranean Sea_cell_1_11_3
12Mediterranean Sea_cell_1_12_0 Sea of MarmaraMediterranean Sea_cell_1_12_1 11,500Mediterranean Sea_cell_1_12_2 TurkeyMediterranean Sea_cell_1_12_3
-Mediterranean Sea_cell_1_13_0 OtherMediterranean Sea_cell_1_13_1 500,000Mediterranean Sea_cell_1_13_2 Consist of Gulfs, Straits, Channels and other parts that don't have the name of a specific seaMediterranean Sea_cell_1_13_3
TotalMediterranean Sea_header_cell_1_14_0 Mediterranean SeaMediterranean Sea_cell_1_14_1 2,500,000Mediterranean Sea_cell_1_14_2 23 CountriesMediterranean Sea_cell_1_14_3

Mediterranean Sea_unordered_list_2

Note 1: The International Hydrographic Organization defines the area as generic Mediterranean Sea, in the Western Basin. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_103

It does not recognize the label Sea of Sardinia. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_104

Note 2: Thracian Sea and Myrtoan Sea are a sea that are part of the Aegean Sea. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_105

Note 3: The Black Sea is not considered part of it. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_106

Extent Mediterranean Sea_section_7

The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Mediterranean Sea as follows: Stretching from the Strait of Gibraltar in the west to the entrances to the Dardanelles and the Suez Canal in the east, the Mediterranean Sea is bounded by the coasts of Europe, Africa, and Asia and is divided into two deep basins: Mediterranean Sea_sentence_107

Mediterranean Sea_unordered_list_3

  • Western Basin:Mediterranean Sea_item_3_10
    • On the west: A line joining the extremities of Cape Trafalgar (Spain) and Cape Spartel (Africa)Mediterranean Sea_item_3_11
    • On the northeast: The west coast of Italy. In the Strait of Messina, a line joining the north extreme of Cape Paci (15°42′E) with Cape Peloro, the east extreme of the Island of Sicily. The north coast of SicilyMediterranean Sea_item_3_12
    • On the east: A line joining Cape Lilibeo the western point of Sicily (), through the Adventure Bank to Cape Bon (Tunisia)Mediterranean Sea_item_3_13
  • Eastern Basin:Mediterranean Sea_item_3_14
    • On the west: The northeastern and eastern limits of the Western BasinMediterranean Sea_item_3_15
    • On the northeast: A line joining Kum Kale (26°11′E) and Cape Helles, the western entrance to the DardanellesMediterranean Sea_item_3_16
    • On the southeast: The entrance to the Suez CanalMediterranean Sea_item_3_17
    • On the east: The coasts of Lebanon, Syria, and IsraelMediterranean Sea_item_3_18

Coastal countries Mediterranean Sea_section_8

For a more comprehensive list, see List of Mediterranean countries. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_108

The following countries have a coastline on the Mediterranean Sea: Mediterranean Sea_sentence_109

Mediterranean Sea_unordered_list_4

Several other territories also border the Mediterranean Sea (from west to east): Mediterranean Sea_sentence_110

Mediterranean Sea_unordered_list_5

Exclusive economic zone Mediterranean Sea_section_9

Exclusive economic zones in Mediterranean Sea: Mediterranean Sea_sentence_111

Mediterranean Sea_table_general_2

NumberMediterranean Sea_header_cell_2_0_0 CountryMediterranean Sea_header_cell_2_0_1 Area (Km)Mediterranean Sea_header_cell_2_0_2
1Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_1_0 ItalyMediterranean Sea_cell_2_1_1 541,915Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_1_2
2Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_2_0 GreeceMediterranean Sea_cell_2_2_1 493,708Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_2_2
3Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_3_0 LibyaMediterranean Sea_cell_2_3_1 355,604Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_3_2
4Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_4_0 SpainMediterranean Sea_cell_2_4_1 260,000Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_4_2
5Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_5_0 EgyptMediterranean Sea_cell_2_5_1 169,125Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_5_2
6Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_6_0 AlgeriaMediterranean Sea_cell_2_6_1 128,843Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_6_2
7Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_7_0 TunisiaMediterranean Sea_cell_2_7_1 102,047Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_7_2
8Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_8_0 CyprusMediterranean Sea_cell_2_8_1 98,088Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_8_2
9Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_9_0 FranceMediterranean Sea_cell_2_9_1 88,389Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_9_2
10Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_10_0 TurkeyMediterranean Sea_cell_2_10_1 72,195Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_10_2
11Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_11_0 CroatiaMediterranean Sea_cell_2_11_1 59,032Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_11_2
12Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_12_0 MaltaMediterranean Sea_cell_2_12_1 55,542Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_12_2
13Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_13_0 IsraelMediterranean Sea_cell_2_13_1 25,139Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_13_2
14Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_14_0 LebanonMediterranean Sea_cell_2_14_1 19,265Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_14_2
15Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_15_0 MoroccoMediterranean Sea_cell_2_15_1 18,302Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_15_2
16Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_16_0 AlbaniaMediterranean Sea_cell_2_16_1 13,691Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_16_2
17Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_17_0 SyriaMediterranean Sea_cell_2_17_1 10,189Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_17_2
18Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_18_0 MontenegroMediterranean Sea_cell_2_18_1 7,745Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_18_2
19Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_19_0 PalestineMediterranean Sea_cell_2_19_1 2,591Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_19_2
20Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_20_0 MonacoMediterranean Sea_cell_2_20_1 288Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_20_2
21Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_21_0 SloveniaMediterranean Sea_cell_2_21_1 220Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_21_2
22Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_22_0 Bosnia and HerzegovinaMediterranean Sea_cell_2_22_1 50Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_22_2
23Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_23_0 United KingdomMediterranean Sea_cell_2_23_1 Very lowMediterranean Sea_cell_2_23_2
TotalMediterranean Sea_header_cell_2_24_0 Mediterranean SeaMediterranean Sea_cell_2_24_1 2,500,000Mediterranean Sea_cell_2_24_2

Coastline length Mediterranean Sea_section_10

The Coastline length is about 46,000 km. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_112

Coastal cities Mediterranean Sea_section_11

For a more comprehensive list, see List of coastal settlements of the Mediterranean Sea. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_113

Major cities (municipalities), with populations larger than 200,000 people, bordering the Mediterranean Sea include: Mediterranean Sea_sentence_114

Mediterranean Sea_table_general_3

CountryMediterranean Sea_header_cell_3_0_0 CitiesMediterranean Sea_header_cell_3_0_1
AlgeriaMediterranean Sea_cell_3_1_0 Algiers, Annaba, OranMediterranean Sea_cell_3_1_1
CyprusMediterranean Sea_cell_3_2_0 Larnaca, Famagusta, Limassol, Paphos, Kyrenia, RizokarpassoMediterranean Sea_cell_3_2_1
EgyptMediterranean Sea_cell_3_3_0 Alexandria, Damietta, Port SaidMediterranean Sea_cell_3_3_1
FranceMediterranean Sea_cell_3_4_0 Marseille, Toulon, NiceMediterranean Sea_cell_3_4_1
GreeceMediterranean Sea_cell_3_5_0 Athens, Patras, Thessaloniki, Volos, HeraklionMediterranean Sea_cell_3_5_1
IsraelMediterranean Sea_cell_3_6_0 Ashdod, Haifa, Netanya, Rishon LeZion, Tel AvivMediterranean Sea_cell_3_6_1
ItalyMediterranean Sea_cell_3_7_0 Bari, Catania, Genoa, Messina, Naples, Palermo, Rome, Syracuse, Taranto, Trieste, VeniceMediterranean Sea_cell_3_7_1
LebanonMediterranean Sea_cell_3_8_0 Beirut, Tripoli, Sidon, TyreMediterranean Sea_cell_3_8_1
LibyaMediterranean Sea_cell_3_9_0 Benghazi, Khoms, Misrata, Tripoli, Zawiya, ZlitenMediterranean Sea_cell_3_9_1
MaltaMediterranean Sea_cell_3_10_0 VallettaMediterranean Sea_cell_3_10_1
MoroccoMediterranean Sea_cell_3_11_0 Tétouan, TangierMediterranean Sea_cell_3_11_1
PalestineMediterranean Sea_cell_3_12_0 Gaza CityMediterranean Sea_cell_3_12_1
SpainMediterranean Sea_cell_3_13_0 Alicante, Badalona, Barcelona, Cartagena, Málaga, Palma, Valencia.Mediterranean Sea_cell_3_13_1
SyriaMediterranean Sea_cell_3_14_0 Latakia, TartusMediterranean Sea_cell_3_14_1
TunisiaMediterranean Sea_cell_3_15_0 Sfax, Sousse, TunisMediterranean Sea_cell_3_15_1
TurkeyMediterranean Sea_cell_3_16_0 Adana, Antalya, Istanbul (through the Sea of Marmara), İzmir, Mersin, IskenderunMediterranean Sea_cell_3_16_1

Subdivisions Mediterranean Sea_section_12

The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) divides the Mediterranean into a number of smaller waterbodies, each with their own designation (from west to east): Mediterranean Sea_sentence_115

Mediterranean Sea_unordered_list_6

Other seas Mediterranean Sea_section_13

Some other seas whose names have been in common use from the ancient times, or in the present: Mediterranean Sea_sentence_116

Mediterranean Sea_unordered_list_7

Many of these smaller seas feature in local myth and folklore and derive their names from such associations. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_117

Other features Mediterranean Sea_section_14

In addition to the seas, a number of gulfs and straits are recognised: Mediterranean Sea_sentence_118

Mediterranean Sea_unordered_list_8

Ten largest islands by area Mediterranean Sea_section_15

Main article: List of islands in the Mediterranean Mediterranean Sea_sentence_119

Mediterranean Sea_table_general_4

CountryMediterranean Sea_header_cell_4_0_0 IslandMediterranean Sea_header_cell_4_0_1 Area in kmMediterranean Sea_header_cell_4_0_2 PopulationMediterranean Sea_header_cell_4_0_3
ItalyMediterranean Sea_cell_4_1_0 SicilyMediterranean Sea_cell_4_1_1 25,460Mediterranean Sea_cell_4_1_2 5,048,995Mediterranean Sea_cell_4_1_3
ItalyMediterranean Sea_cell_4_2_0 SardiniaMediterranean Sea_cell_4_2_1 23,821Mediterranean Sea_cell_4_2_2 1,672,804Mediterranean Sea_cell_4_2_3
CyprusMediterranean Sea_cell_4_3_0 CyprusMediterranean Sea_cell_4_3_1 9,251Mediterranean Sea_cell_4_3_2 1,088,503Mediterranean Sea_cell_4_3_3
FranceMediterranean Sea_cell_4_4_0 CorsicaMediterranean Sea_cell_4_4_1 8,680Mediterranean Sea_cell_4_4_2 299,209Mediterranean Sea_cell_4_4_3
GreeceMediterranean Sea_cell_4_5_0 CreteMediterranean Sea_cell_4_5_1 8,336Mediterranean Sea_cell_4_5_2 623,666Mediterranean Sea_cell_4_5_3
GreeceMediterranean Sea_cell_4_6_0 EuboeaMediterranean Sea_cell_4_6_1 3,655Mediterranean Sea_cell_4_6_2 218.000Mediterranean Sea_cell_4_6_3
SpainMediterranean Sea_cell_4_7_0 MajorcaMediterranean Sea_cell_4_7_1 3,640Mediterranean Sea_cell_4_7_2 869,067Mediterranean Sea_cell_4_7_3
GreeceMediterranean Sea_cell_4_8_0 LesbosMediterranean Sea_cell_4_8_1 1,632Mediterranean Sea_cell_4_8_2 90,643Mediterranean Sea_cell_4_8_3
GreeceMediterranean Sea_cell_4_9_0 RhodesMediterranean Sea_cell_4_9_1 1,400Mediterranean Sea_cell_4_9_2 117,007Mediterranean Sea_cell_4_9_3
GreeceMediterranean Sea_cell_4_10_0 ChiosMediterranean Sea_cell_4_10_1 842Mediterranean Sea_cell_4_10_2 51,936Mediterranean Sea_cell_4_10_3

Climate Mediterranean Sea_section_16

Much of the Mediterranean coast enjoys a hot-summer Mediterranean climate. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_120

However, most of its southeastern coast has a hot desert climate, and much of Spain's eastern (Mediterranean) coast has a cold semi-arid climate. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_121

Although they are rare, tropical cyclones occasionally form in the Mediterranean Sea, typically in September–November. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_122

Sea temperature Mediterranean Sea_section_17

Mediterranean Sea_table_general_5

Mean sea temperature (°C)Mediterranean Sea_table_caption_5
Mediterranean Sea_header_cell_5_0_0 JanMediterranean Sea_header_cell_5_0_1 FebMediterranean Sea_header_cell_5_0_2 MarMediterranean Sea_header_cell_5_0_3 AprMediterranean Sea_header_cell_5_0_4 MayMediterranean Sea_header_cell_5_0_5 JunMediterranean Sea_header_cell_5_0_6 JulMediterranean Sea_header_cell_5_0_7 AugMediterranean Sea_header_cell_5_0_8 SepMediterranean Sea_header_cell_5_0_9 OctMediterranean Sea_header_cell_5_0_10 NovMediterranean Sea_header_cell_5_0_11 DecMediterranean Sea_header_cell_5_0_12 YearMediterranean Sea_header_cell_5_0_13
MálagaMediterranean Sea_cell_5_1_0 16Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_1_1 15Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_1_2 15Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_1_3 16Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_1_4 17Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_1_5 20Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_1_6 22Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_1_7 23Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_1_8 22Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_1_9 20Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_1_10 18Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_1_11 16Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_1_12 18.3Mediterranean Sea_header_cell_5_1_13
BarcelonaMediterranean Sea_cell_5_2_0 13Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_2_1 12Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_2_2 13Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_2_3 14Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_2_4 17Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_2_5 20Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_2_6 23Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_2_7 25Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_2_8 23Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_2_9 20Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_2_10 17Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_2_11 15Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_2_12 17.8Mediterranean Sea_header_cell_5_2_13
MarseilleMediterranean Sea_cell_5_3_0 13Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_3_1 13Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_3_2 13Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_3_3 14Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_3_4 16Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_3_5 18Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_3_6 21Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_3_7 22Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_3_8 21Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_3_9 18Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_3_10 16Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_3_11 14Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_3_12 16.6Mediterranean Sea_header_cell_5_3_13
NaplesMediterranean Sea_cell_5_4_0 15Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_4_1 14Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_4_2 14Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_4_3 15Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_4_4 18Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_4_5 22Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_4_6 25Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_4_7 27Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_4_8 25Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_4_9 22Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_4_10 19Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_4_11 16Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_4_12 19.3Mediterranean Sea_header_cell_5_4_13
MaltaMediterranean Sea_cell_5_5_0 16Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_5_1 16Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_5_2 15Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_5_3 16Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_5_4 18Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_5_5 21Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_5_6 24Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_5_7 26Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_5_8 25Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_5_9 23Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_5_10 21Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_5_11 18Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_5_12 19.9Mediterranean Sea_header_cell_5_5_13
VeniceMediterranean Sea_cell_5_6_0 11Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_6_1 10Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_6_2 11Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_6_3 13Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_6_4 18Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_6_5 22Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_6_6 25Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_6_7 26Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_6_8 23Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_6_9 20Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_6_10 16Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_6_11 14Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_6_12 17.4Mediterranean Sea_header_cell_5_6_13
AthensMediterranean Sea_cell_5_7_0 16Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_7_1 15Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_7_2 15Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_7_3 16Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_7_4 18Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_7_5 21Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_7_6 24Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_7_7 24Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_7_8 24Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_7_9 21Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_7_10 19Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_7_11 18Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_7_12 19.3Mediterranean Sea_header_cell_5_7_13
HeraklionMediterranean Sea_cell_5_8_0 16Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_8_1 15Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_8_2 15Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_8_3 16Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_8_4 19Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_8_5 22Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_8_6 24Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_8_7 25Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_8_8 24Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_8_9 22Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_8_10 20Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_8_11 18Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_8_12 19.7Mediterranean Sea_header_cell_5_8_13
AntalyaMediterranean Sea_cell_5_9_0 17Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_9_1 17Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_9_2 16Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_9_3 17Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_9_4 21Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_9_5 24Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_9_6 27Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_9_7 29Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_9_8 27Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_9_9 25Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_9_10 22Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_9_11 19Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_9_12 21.8Mediterranean Sea_header_cell_5_9_13
LimassolMediterranean Sea_cell_5_10_0 18Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_10_1 17Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_10_2 17Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_10_3 18Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_10_4 20Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_10_5 24Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_10_6 26Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_10_7 27Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_10_8 27Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_10_9 25Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_10_10 22Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_10_11 19Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_10_12 21.7Mediterranean Sea_header_cell_5_10_13
MersinMediterranean Sea_cell_5_11_0 18Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_11_1 17Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_11_2 17Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_11_3 18Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_11_4 21Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_11_5 25Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_11_6 28Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_11_7 29Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_11_8 28Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_11_9 25Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_11_10 22Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_11_11 19Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_11_12 22.3Mediterranean Sea_header_cell_5_11_13
Tel AvivMediterranean Sea_cell_5_12_0 18Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_12_1 17Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_12_2 17Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_12_3 18Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_12_4 21Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_12_5 24Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_12_6 27Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_12_7 28Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_12_8 28Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_12_9 26Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_12_10 23Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_12_11 20Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_12_12 22.3Mediterranean Sea_header_cell_5_12_13
AlexandriaMediterranean Sea_cell_5_13_0 18Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_13_1 17Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_13_2 17Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_13_3 18Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_13_4 20Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_13_5 23Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_13_6 25Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_13_7 26Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_13_8 26Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_13_9 25Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_13_10 22Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_13_11 20Mediterranean Sea_cell_5_13_12 21.4Mediterranean Sea_header_cell_5_13_13

Oceanography Mediterranean Sea_section_18

Being nearly landlocked affects conditions in the Mediterranean Sea: for instance, tides are very limited as a result of the narrow connection with the Atlantic Ocean. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_123

The Mediterranean is characterised and immediately recognised by its deep blue colour. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_124

Evaporation greatly exceeds precipitation and river runoff in the Mediterranean, a fact that is central to the water circulation within the basin. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_125

Evaporation is especially high in its eastern half, causing the water level to decrease and salinity to increase eastward. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_126

The average salinity in the basin is 38 PSU at 5 m depth. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_127

The temperature of the water in the deepest part of the Mediterranean Sea is 13.2 °C (55.8 °F). Mediterranean Sea_sentence_128

The net water influx from the Atlantic Ocean is ca. 70,000 m³/s or 2.2×10 m/a (7.8×10 cu ft/a). Mediterranean Sea_sentence_129

Without this Atlantic water, the sea level of the Mediterranean Sea would fall at a rate of about 1 m per year. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_130

General circulation Mediterranean Sea_section_19

Water circulation in the Mediterranean can be described from the surface waters entering from the Atlantic through the Strait of Gibraltar. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_131

These cool and relatively low-salinity waters circulate eastwards along the North African coasts. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_132

A part of these surface waters does not pass the Strait of Sicily, but deviates towards Corsica before exiting the Mediterranean. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_133

The surface waters entering the eastern Mediterranean basin circulate along the Libyan and Israelian coasts. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_134

Upon reaching the Levantine Sea, the surface waters having experienced warming and saltening from their initial Atlantic state, are now more dense and sink to form the Levantine Intermediate Waters (LIW). Mediterranean Sea_sentence_135

Most of the water found anywhere between 50 and 600 m deep in the Mediterranean originates from the LIW. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_136

LIW are formed along the coasts of Turkey and circulate westwards along the Greek and South Italian coasts. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_137

LIW are the only waters passing the Sicily Strait westwards. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_138

After the Strait of Sicily, the LIW waters circulate along the Italian, French and Spanish coasts before exiting the Mediterranean through the depths of the Strait of Gibraltar. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_139

Deep water in the Mediterranean originates from three main areas: the Adriatic Sea, from which most of the deep water in the eastern Mediterranean originates, the Aegean Sea, and the Gulf of Lion. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_140

Deep water formation in the Mediterranean is triggered by strong winter convection fueled by intense cold winds like the Bora. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_141

When new deep water is formed, the older waters mix with the overlaying intermediate waters and eventually exit the Mediterranean. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_142

The residence time of water in the Mediterranean is approximately 100 years, making the Mediterranean especially sensitive to climate change. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_143

Other events affecting water circulation Mediterranean Sea_section_20

Being a semi-enclosed basin, the Mediterranean experiences transitory events that can affect the water circulation on short time scales. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_144

In the mid 1990s, the Aegean Sea became the main area for deep water formation in the eastern Mediterranean after particularly cold winter conditions. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_145

This transitory switch in the origin of deep waters in the eastern Mediterranean was termed Eastern Mediterranean Transient (EMT) and had major consequences on water circulation of the Mediterranean. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_146

Another example of a transient event affecting the Mediterranean circulation is the periodic inversion of the North Ionian Gyre, which is an anticyclonic ocean gyre observed in the northern part of the Ionian Sea, off the Greek coast. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_147

The transition from anticyclonic to cyclonic rotation of this gyre changes the origin of the waters fueling it; when the circulation is anticyclonic (most common), the waters of the gyre originate from the Adriatic Sea. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_148

When the circulation is cyclonic, the waters originate from the Levantine Sea. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_149

These waters have different physical and chemical characteristics, and the periodic inversion of the North Ionian Gyre (called Bimodal Oscillating System or BiOS) changes the Mediterranean circulation and biogeochemistry around the Adriatic and Levantine regions. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_150

Climate change Mediterranean Sea_section_21

Because of the short residence time of waters, the Mediterranean Sea is considered a hot-spot for climate change effects. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_151

Deep water temperatures have increased by 0.12 °C (0.22 °F) between 1959 and 1989. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_152

According to climate projections, the Mediterranean Sea could become warmer. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_153

The decrease in precipitation over the region could lead to more evaporation ultimately increasing the Mediterranean Sea salinity. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_154

Because of the changes in temperature and salinity, the Mediterranean Sea may become more stratified by the end of the 21st century, with notable consequences on water circulation and biogeochemistry. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_155

Biogeochemistry Mediterranean Sea_section_22

In spite of its great biodiversity, concentrations of chlorophyll and nutrients in the Mediterranean Sea are very low, making it one of the most oligotrophic ocean regions in the world. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_156

The Mediterranean Sea is commonly referred to as an LNLC (Low-Nutrient, Low-Chlorophyll) area. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_157

The Mediterranean Sea fits the definition of a desert as it has low precipitation and its nutrient contents are low, making it difficult for plants and animals to develop. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_158

There are steep gradients in nutrient concentrations, chlorophyll concentrations and primary productivity in the Mediterranean. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_159

Nutrient concentrations in the western part of the basin are about double the concentrations in the eastern basin. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_160

The Alboran Sea, close to the Strait of Gibraltar, has a daily primary productivity of about 0.25 g C (grams of carbon) m day whereas the eastern basin has an average daily productivity of 0.16 g C m day. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_161

For this reason, the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea is termed "ultraoligotrophic". Mediterranean Sea_sentence_162

The productive areas of the Mediterranean Sea are few and small. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_163

High (i.e. more than 0.5 grams of Chlorophyll a per cubic meter) productivity occurs in coastal areas, close to the river mouths which are the primary suppliers of dissolved nutrients. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_164

The Gulf of Lion has a relatively high productivity because it is an area of high vertical mixing, bringing nutrients to the surface waters that can be used by phytoplankton to produce Chlorophyll a. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_165

Primary productivity in the Mediterranean is also marked by an intense seasonal variability. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_166

In winter, the strong winds and precipitation over the basin generate vertical mixing, bringing nutrients from the deep waters to the surface, where phytoplankton can convert it into biomass. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_167

However, in winter, light may be the limiting factor for primary productivity. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_168

Between March and April, spring offers the ideal trade-off between light intensity and nutrient concentrations in surface for a spring bloom to occur. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_169

In summer, high atmospheric temperatures lead to the warming of the surface waters. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_170

The resulting density difference virtually isolates the surface waters from the rest of the water column and nutrient exchanges are limited. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_171

As a consequence, primary productivity is very low between June and October. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_172

Oceanographic expeditions uncovered a characteristic feature of the Mediterranean Sea biogeochemistry: most of the chlorophyll production does not occur on the surface, but in sub-surface waters between 80 and 200 meters deep. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_173

Another key characteristic of the Mediterranean is its high nitrogen-to-phosphorus ratio (N:P). Mediterranean Sea_sentence_174

Redfield demonstrated that most of the world's oceans have an average N:P ratio around 16. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_175

However, the Mediterranean Sea has an average N:P between 24 and 29, which translates a widespread phosphorus limitation. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_176

Because of its low productivity, plankton assemblages in the Mediterranean Sea are dominated by small organisms such as picophytoplankton and bacteria. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_177

Geology Mediterranean Sea_section_23

See also: Geology and paleoclimatology of the Mediterranean Basin Mediterranean Sea_sentence_178

The geologic history of the Mediterranean Sea is complex. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_179

Underlain by oceanic crust, the sea basin was once thought to be a tectonic remnant of the ancient Tethys Ocean; it is now known to be a structurally younger basin, called the Neotethys, which was first formed by the convergence of the African and Eurasian plates during the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_180

Because it is a near-landlocked body of water in a normally dry climate, the Mediterranean is subject to intensive evaporation and the precipitation of evaporites. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_181

The Messinian salinity crisis started about six million years ago (mya) when the Mediterranean became landlocked, and then essentially dried up. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_182

There are salt deposits accumulated on the bottom of the basin of more than a million cubic kilometres—in some places more than three kilometres thick. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_183

Scientists estimate that the sea was last filled about 5.3 million years ago (mya) in less than two years by the Zanclean flood. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_184

Water poured in from the Atlantic Ocean through a newly breached gateway now called the Strait of Gibraltar at an estimated rate of about three orders of magnitude (one thousand times) larger than the current flow of the Amazon River. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_185

The Mediterranean Sea has an average depth of 1,500 m (4,900 ft) and the deepest recorded point is 5,267 m (17,280 ft) in the Calypso Deep in the Ionian Sea. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_186

The coastline extends for 46,000 km (29,000 mi). Mediterranean Sea_sentence_187

A shallow submarine ridge (the Strait of Sicily) between the island of Sicily and the coast of Tunisia divides the sea in two main subregions: the Western Mediterranean, with an area of about 850,000 km (330,000 mi); and the Eastern Mediterranean, of about 1.65 million km (640,000 mi). Mediterranean Sea_sentence_188

Coastal areas have submarine karst springs or vruljas, which discharge pressurised groundwater into the water from below the surface; the discharge water is usually fresh, and sometimes may be thermal. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_189

Tectonics and paleoenvironmental analysis Mediterranean Sea_section_24

Natural hazards Mediterranean Sea_section_25

The region has a variety of geological hazards which have closely interacted with human activity and land use patterns. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_190

Among others, in the eastern Mediterranean, the Thera eruption, dated to the 17th or 16th century BC, caused a large tsunami that some experts hypothesise devastated the Minoan civilisation on the nearby island of Crete, further leading some to believe that this may have been the catastrophe that inspired the Atlantis legend. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_191

Mount Vesuvius is the only active volcano on the European mainland, while others, Mount Etna and Stromboli, are on neighbouring islands. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_192

The region around Vesuvius including the Phlegraean Fields Caldera west of Naples are quite active and constitute the most densely populated volcanic region in the world where an eruptive event may occur within decades. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_193

Vesuvius itself is regarded as quite dangerous due to a tendency towards explosive (Plinian) eruptions. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_194

It is best known for its eruption in AD 79 that led to the burying and destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_195

The large experience of member states and regional authorities has led to exchange on the international level with cooperation of NGOs, states, regional and municipality authorities and private persons. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_196

The Greek–Turkish earthquake diplomacy is a quite positive example of natural hazards leading to improved relations between traditional rivals in the region after earthquakes in İzmir and Athens in 1999. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_197

The European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) was set up to respond to major natural disasters and express European solidarity to disaster-stricken regions within all of Europe. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_198

The largest amount of funding requests in the EU relates to forest fires, followed by floods and earthquakes. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_199

Forest fires, whether man made or natural, are a frequent and dangerous hazard in the Mediterranean region. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_200

Tsunamis are also an often underestimated hazard in the region. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_201

For example, the 1908 Messina earthquake and tsunami took more than 123,000 lives in Sicily and Calabria and was among the most deadly natural disasters in modern Europe. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_202

Invasive species Mediterranean Sea_section_26

The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 created the first salt-water passage between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_203

The Red Sea is higher than the Eastern Mediterranean, so the canal functions as a tidal strait that pours Red Sea water into the Mediterranean. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_204

The Bitter Lakes, which are hyper-saline natural lakes that form part of the canal, blocked the migration of Red Sea species into the Mediterranean for many decades, but as the salinity of the lakes gradually equalised with that of the Red Sea, the barrier to migration was removed, and plants and animals from the Red Sea have begun to colonise the Eastern Mediterranean. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_205

The Red Sea is generally saltier and more nutrient-poor than the Atlantic, so the Red Sea species have advantages over Atlantic species in the salty and nutrient-poor Eastern Mediterranean. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_206

Accordingly, Red Sea species invade the Mediterranean biota, and not vice versa; this phenomenon is known as the Lessepsian migration (after Ferdinand de Lesseps, the French engineer) or Erythrean ("red") invasion. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_207

The construction of the Aswan High Dam across the Nile River in the 1960s reduced the inflow of freshwater and nutrient-rich silt from the Nile into the Eastern Mediterranean, making conditions there even more like the Red Sea and worsening the impact of the invasive species. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_208

Invasive species have become a major component of the Mediterranean ecosystem and have serious impacts on the Mediterranean ecology, endangering many local and endemic Mediterranean species. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_209

A first look at some groups of exotic species shows that more than 70% of the non-indigenous decapods and about 63% of the exotic fishes occurring in the Mediterranean are of Indo-Pacific origin, introduced into the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_210

This makes the Canal the first pathway of arrival of alien species into the Mediterranean. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_211

The impacts of some Lessepsian species have proven to be considerable, mainly in the Levantine basin of the Mediterranean, where they are replacing native species and becoming a familiar sight. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_212

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature definition, as well as Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and Ramsar Convention terminologies, they are alien species, as they are non-native (non-indigenous) to the Mediterranean Sea, and they are outside their normal area of distribution which is the Indo-Pacific region. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_213

When these species succeed in establishing populations in the Mediterranean Sea, compete with and begin to replace native species they are "Alien Invasive Species", as they are an agent of change and a threat to the native biodiversity. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_214

In the context of CBD, "introduction" refers to the movement by human agency, indirect or direct, of an alien species outside of its natural range (past or present). Mediterranean Sea_sentence_215

The Suez Canal, being an artificial (man made) canal, is a human agency. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_216

Lessepsian migrants are therefore "introduced" species (indirect, and unintentional). Mediterranean Sea_sentence_217

Whatever wording is chosen, they represent a threat to the native Mediterranean biodiversity, because they are non-indigenous to this sea. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_218

In recent years, the Egyptian government's announcement of its intentions to deepen and widen the canal have raised concerns from marine biologists, fearing that such an act will only worsen the invasion of Red Sea species into the Mediterranean, and lead to even more species passing through the canal. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_219

Arrival of new tropical Atlantic species Mediterranean Sea_section_27

In recent decades, the arrival of exotic species from the tropical Atlantic has become noticeable. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_220

Whether this reflects an expansion of the natural area of these species that now enter the Mediterranean through the Gibraltar strait, because of a warming trend of the water caused by global warming; or an extension of the maritime traffic; or is simply the result of a more intense scientific investigation, is still an open question. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_221

While not as intense as the "Lessepsian" movement, the process may be of scientific interest and may therefore warrant increased levels of monitoring. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_222

Sea-level rise Mediterranean Sea_section_28

By 2100 the overall level of the Mediterranean could rise between 3 to 61 cm (1.2 to 24.0 in) as a result of the effects of climate change. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_223

This could have adverse effects on populations across the Mediterranean: Mediterranean Sea_sentence_224

Mediterranean Sea_unordered_list_9

  • Rising sea levels will submerge parts of Malta. Rising sea levels will also mean rising salt water levels in Malta's groundwater supply and reduce the availability of drinking water.Mediterranean Sea_item_9_78
  • A 30 cm (12 in) rise in sea level would flood 200 square kilometres (77 sq mi) of the Nile Delta, displacing over 500,000 Egyptians.Mediterranean Sea_item_9_79
  • Cyprus wetlands are also in danger of being destroyed by the rising temperatures and sea levels.Mediterranean Sea_item_9_80

Coastal ecosystems also appear to be threatened by sea level rise, especially enclosed seas such as the Baltic, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_225

These seas have only small and primarily east–west movement corridors, which may restrict northward displacement of organisms in these areas. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_226

Sea level rise for the next century (2100) could be between 30 cm (12 in) and 100 cm (39 in) and temperature shifts of a mere 0.05–0.1 °C in the deep sea are sufficient to induce significant changes in species richness and functional diversity. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_227

Pollution Mediterranean Sea_section_29

Pollution in this region has been extremely high in recent years. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_228

The United Nations Environment Programme has estimated that 650,000,000 t (720,000,000 short tons) of sewage, 129,000 t (142,000 short tons) of mineral oil, 60,000 t (66,000 short tons) of mercury, 3,800 t (4,200 short tons) of lead and 36,000 t (40,000 short tons) of phosphates are dumped into the Mediterranean each year. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_229

The Barcelona Convention aims to 'reduce pollution in the Mediterranean Sea and protect and improve the marine environment in the area, thereby contributing to its sustainable development.' Mediterranean Sea_sentence_230

Many marine species have been almost wiped out because of the sea's pollution. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_231

One of them is the Mediterranean monk seal which is considered to be among the world's most endangered marine mammals. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_232

The Mediterranean is also plagued by marine debris. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_233

A 1994 study of the seabed using trawl nets around the coasts of Spain, France and Italy reported a particularly high mean concentration of debris; an average of 1,935 items per km. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_234

Plastic debris accounted for 76%, of which 94% was plastic bags. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_235

Shipping Mediterranean Sea_section_30

Some of the world's busiest shipping routes are in the Mediterranean Sea. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_236

It is estimated that approximately 220,000 merchant vessels of more than 100 tonnes cross the Mediterranean Sea each year—about one third of the world's total merchant shipping. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_237

These ships often carry hazardous cargo, which if lost would result in severe damage to the marine environment. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_238

The discharge of chemical tank washings and oily wastes also represent a significant source of marine pollution. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_239

The Mediterranean Sea constitutes 0.7% of the global water surface and yet receives 17% of global marine oil pollution. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_240

It is estimated that every year between 100,000 t (98,000 long tons) and 150,000 t (150,000 long tons) of crude oil are deliberately released into the sea from shipping activities. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_241

Approximately 370,000,000 t (360,000,000 long tons) of oil are transported annually in the Mediterranean Sea (more than 20% of the world total), with around 250–300 oil tankers crossing the sea every day. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_242

Accidental oil spills happen frequently with an average of 10 spills per year. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_243

A major oil spill could occur at any time in any part of the Mediterranean. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_244

Tourism Mediterranean Sea_section_31

The coast of the Mediterranean has been used for tourism since ancient times, as the Roman villa buildings on the Amalfi Coast or in Barcola show. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_245

From the end of the 19th century, in particular, the beaches became places of longing for many Europeans and travelers. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_246

From then on, and especially after World War II, mass tourism to the Mediterranean began with all its advantages and disadvantages. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_247

While initially the journey was by train and later by bus or car, today the plane is increasingly used. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_248

Tourism is today one of the most important sources of income for many Mediterranean countries, despite the man-made geopolitical conflicts in the region. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_249

The countries have tried to extinguish rising man-made chaotic zones that might affect the region's economies and societies in neighboring coastal countries, and shipping routes. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_250

Naval and rescue components in the Mediterranean Sea are considered to be among the best due to the rapid cooperation between various naval fleets. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_251

Unlike the vast open oceans, the sea's closed position facilitates effective naval and rescue missions, considered the safest and regardless of any man-made or natural disaster. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_252

Tourism is a source of income for small coastal communities, including islands, independent of urban centers. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_253

However, tourism has also played major role in the degradation of the coastal and marine environment. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_254

Rapid development has been encouraged by Mediterranean governments to support the large numbers of tourists visiting the region; but this has caused serious disturbance to marine habitats by erosion and pollution in many places along the Mediterranean coasts. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_255

Tourism often concentrates in areas of high natural wealth, causing a serious threat to the habitats of endangered species such as sea turtles and monk seals. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_256

Reductions in natural wealth may reduce the incentive for tourists to visit. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_257

See also: Environmental impact of tourism Mediterranean Sea_sentence_258

Overfishing Mediterranean Sea_section_32

Main article: overfishing Mediterranean Sea_sentence_259

Fish stock levels in the Mediterranean Sea are alarmingly low. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_260

The European Environment Agency says that more than 65% of all fish stocks in the region are outside safe biological limits and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, that some of the most important fisheries—such as albacore and bluefin tuna, hake, marlin, swordfish, red mullet and sea bream—are threatened. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_261

There are clear indications that catch size and quality have declined, often dramatically, and in many areas larger and longer-lived species have disappeared entirely from commercial catches. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_262

Large open water fish like tuna have been a shared fisheries resource for thousands of years but the stocks are now dangerously low. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_263

In 1999, Greenpeace published a report revealing that the amount of bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean had decreased by over 80% in the previous 20 years and government scientists warn that without immediate action the stock will collapse. Mediterranean Sea_sentence_264


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mediterranean Sea.