Warming and drying of the eastern Mediterranean: Additional evidence from trend analysis

David Shohami*, Uri Dayan, Efrat Morin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

The climate of the eastern Mediterranean (EM), at the transition zone between the Mediterranean climate and the semi-arid/arid climate, has been studied for a 39-year period to determine whether climate changes have taken place. A thorough trend analysis using the nonparametric Mann-Kendall test with Sen's slope estimator has been applied to ground station measurements, atmospheric reanalysis data, synoptic classification data and global data sets for the years 1964-2003. In addition, changes in atmospheric regional patterns between the first and last twenty years were determined by visual comparisons of their composite mean. The main findings of the analysis are: 1) changes of atmospheric conditions during summer and the transitional seasons (mainly autumn) support a warmer climate over the EM and this change is already statistically evident in surface temperatures having exhibited positive trends of 0.2-1°C/decade; 2) changes of atmospheric conditions during winter and the transitional seasons support drier conditions due to reduction in cyclogenesis and specific humidity over the EM, but this change is not yet statistically evident in surface station rain data, presumably because of the high natural precipitation variance masking such a change. The overall conclusion of this study is that the EM region is under climate change leading to warmer and drier conditions.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberD22101
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Volume116
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

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