This study considers the various factors that regulate nutrients supply in the Red Sea. Multi-sensor observation and reanalysis datasets are used to examine the relationships among dust deposition, sea surface temperature (SST), and wind speed, as they may contribute to anomalous phytoplankton blooms, through time-series and correlation analyses. A positive correlation was found at 0–3 months lag between chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) anomalies and dust anomalies over the Red Sea regions. Dust deposition process was further examined with dust aerosols’ vertical distribution using satellite lidar data. Conversely, a negative correlation was found at 0–3 months lag between SST anomalies and Chl-a that was particularly strong in the southern Red Sea during summertime. The negative relationship between SST and phytoplankton is also evident in the continuously low levels of Chl-a during 2015 to 2016, which were the warmest years in the region on record. The overall positive correlation between wind speed and Chl-a relate to the nutritious water supply from the Gulf of Aden to the southern Red Sea and the vertical mixing encountered in the northern part. Ocean Color Climate Change Initiative (OC-CCI) dataset experience some temporal inconsistencies due to the inclusion of different datasets. We addressed those issues in our analysis with a valid interpretation of these complex relationships.
Li, W.; El-Askary, H.; Qurban, M.A.; Proestakis, E.; Garay, M.; Kalashnikova, O.; Amidiris, V.; Gkikas, A.; Marinou, E.; Piechota, T.; Manikandan, K.P. An Assessment of Atmospheric and Meteorological Factors Regulating Red Sea Phytoplankton Growth. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 673; doi:10.3390/rs10050673
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