Trends in Mediterranean gridded temperature extremes and large-scale circulation influences

D Efthymiadis, CM Goodess, PD Jones

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Abstract

Two recently-available daily gridded datasets are used to investigate trends in Mediterranean temperature extremes since the mid-20th century. The underlying trends are found to be generally consistent with global trends of temperature and their extremes: cold extremes decrease and warm/hot extremes increase. This consistency is better manifested in the western part of the Mediterranean where changes are most pronounced since the mid-1970s. In the eastern part, a cooling is observed, with a near reversal in the last two decades. This inter-basin discrepancy is clearer in winter, while in summer changes are more uniform and the west-east difference is restricted to the rate of increase of warm/hot extremes, which is higher in central and eastern parts of the Mediterranean over recent decades. Linear regression and correlation analysis reveals some influence of major large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns on the occurrence of these extremes – both in terms of trend and interannual variability. These relationships are not, however, able to account for the most striking features of the observations – in particular the intensification of the increasing trend in warm/hot extremes, which is most evident over the last 15–20 yr in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2199-2214
Number of pages16
JournalNatural Hazards and Earth System Science
Volume11
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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