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Article

Climate Change and Thermal Comfort in Top Tourist Destinations—The Case of Santorini (Greece)

Institute for Environmental Research & Sustainable Development (IERSD), National Observatory of Athens, GR-15236 Athens, Greece
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Academic Editors: Kyle Maurice Woosnam and Colin Michael Hall
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9107; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169107
Received: 25 June 2021 / Revised: 10 August 2021 / Accepted: 11 August 2021 / Published: 14 August 2021
The Mediterranean area is one of the most visited tourist destinations of the world, but it has also been recognized as one of the most vulnerable to climate change areas worldwide with respect to increased thermal risk. The study focuses on a top worldwide tourist destination of the Mediterranean, Santorini Island in Greece, and aims to assess the past, present and future thermal environment in the island based on the advanced Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI). The study utilizes historical observations capturing past (late 19th to early 20th century) and more recent (1982–2019) time periods, while future projections are realized based on four regional climate models (RCMs) under the weak mitigation scenario (RCP4.5) and the non-mitigation scenario with high emissions (RCP8.5). The frequency of cold stress conditions at midday decreases during winter and early spring months by up to 19.8% (January) in the recent period compared to the historical one, while heat stress conditions increase in summer by up to 22.4% (August). Future projections suggest progressive shifts of the UTCI towards higher values in the future and an increase in the exposure time under heat stress depending on the RCM and adopted scenario. The increase in moderate and strong heat stress conditions is mainly expected during the summer months (June, July, August); nevertheless, a noticeable increase is also foreseen in September and May. The highest occurrences of favorable (no thermal stress) conditions are also projected to shift by one month, from June to May and from September to October, in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change impacts; regional climate models; Universal Thermal Climate Index; thermal comfort; heat stress; Mediterranean climate change impacts; regional climate models; Universal Thermal Climate Index; thermal comfort; heat stress; Mediterranean
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MDPI and ACS Style

Katavoutas, G.; Founda, D.; Kitsara, G.; Giannakopoulos, C. Climate Change and Thermal Comfort in Top Tourist Destinations—The Case of Santorini (Greece). Sustainability 2021, 13, 9107. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169107

AMA Style

Katavoutas G, Founda D, Kitsara G, Giannakopoulos C. Climate Change and Thermal Comfort in Top Tourist Destinations—The Case of Santorini (Greece). Sustainability. 2021; 13(16):9107. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169107

Chicago/Turabian Style

Katavoutas, George, Dimitra Founda, Gianna Kitsara, and Christos Giannakopoulos. 2021. "Climate Change and Thermal Comfort in Top Tourist Destinations—The Case of Santorini (Greece)" Sustainability 13, no. 16: 9107. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169107

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