CMIP5-predicted climate shifts over the East Mediterranean: Implications for the transition region between Mediterranean and semi-arid climates

Nadav Peleg*, Maya Bartov, Efrat Morin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The effect of climate change on the Eastern Mediterranean (EM) region, a region that reflects a transition between Mediterranean and semi-arid climates, was examined. This transition region is affected by global changes such as the expansion of the Hadley cell, which leads to a poleward shift of the subtropical dry zone. The Hadley cell expansion forces the migration of jet streams and storm tracks poleward from their standard course, potentially increasing regional desertification. This article focuses on the northern coastline of Israel along the EM region where most wet synoptic systems (i.e. systems that may lead to precipitation) are generated. The current climate was compared to the predicted mid-21st century climate based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios using four Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) models. A warming of 1.1-2.6°C was predicted for this region. The models predicted that rain in the region will become less frequent, with a reduction of 1.2-3.4% in 6-h intervals classified as wet synoptic systems and a 10-22% reduction in wet events. They further predicted that the maximum wet event duration in the mid-21st century would become shorter relative to the current climate, implying that extremely long wet systems will become less frequent. Three of the models predicted shrinking of the wet season length by up to 15%. All models predicted an increasing occurrence frequency of Active Red Sea Troughs (ARSTs) for the RCP8.5 scenario by up to 11% by the mid-21st century. For the RCP4.5 scenario, a similar increase of up to 6% was predicted by two of the models.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2144-2153
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Climatology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 30 Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Royal Meteorological Society.


  • Climate change
  • Cyprus low
  • Desertification
  • East Mediterranean
  • Hadley cell
  • Israel
  • Red Sea Trough
  • Synoptic classification


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