The Mediterranean basin has been classified as a hot-spot for climate change. The Mediterranean Sea plays a fundamental regulatory role in the regional climate. We have analyzed the largest available and complete time series (1982–2019) of blended sea surface temperature (SST) data to study its seasonal cycle and look for a possible warming trend in the basin. From the analysis of the Mediterranean mean SST time series, a new temporal seasonal division is derived that differs from the one used in atmospheric climatology. Then, the SST time series were decomposed into their seasonal and trend components, and a consistent warming trend of 0.035 °C/year was obtained. The nature of this trend has been investigated, indicating a higher warming trend for both maximum and high/summer SST values than for the winter/colder ones. This reinforces the consistency of the SST increase since it is not only based on the presence of extreme values, but on a homogeneous basin global increase of high SST records as well. Although warming is found throughout the Mediterranean basin, the spatial variability found leads to the division of the basin into three distinct subareas regarding warming.
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