Climate Change

The Mediterranean is warming three times more than the oceans: Study

The warming is twice as fast in inland and high areas

By DTE Staff
Published: Thursday 10 June 2021

The Mediterranean is warming two to three times more than the Earth’s oceans, according to satellite images from the last 35 years, said experts at the University of Valencia (UV).

The warming is twice as fast in inland and high areas, such as the Penyagolosa mountain range, than in the coast, the researchers noted.

The experts said:                                                           

The month of June is now climatically considered summer, while registering a significant loss of usable rainfall in the inland basins of the Segura and Júcar rivers. The latter is especially severe, with a 20 per cent decrease in annual rainfall.

The research was published in Climate Change in the Mediterranean: Processes, risks and policies.

Summer arrives sooner, lasts longer

The warming of the peninsular Mediterranean region has been calculated to be one degree Celsius in the last 35 years, said María José López, professor of physical geography at UV. This is similar to the “increase that essentially takes place in the months of June and July, when the increase reaches 2°C, as the warming rate is 0.6°C for the year”.

“We see that the summer arrives sooner, lasts longer and is becoming more intense,” she added.

In the Júcar and Segura basins, the duration of dry spells — the number of consecutive days with no rain — has increased, whereas the frequency of moderate rainfall, which can be beneficial, has decreased, in favour of extreme rainfall, the report said.

There has been a significant increase of warm nights in this geographical strip, noted Jorge Olcina, regional geographical analysis professor and director of the climatology laboratory of the University of Alicante.

The study’s results “confirm that the Mediterranean is the epicentre of climate change”, said Mireia Mollà, the councillor of agriculture, rural development, climatic emergency and ecological transition.

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