Special Issue "Climate Variabilities and Changes in the Mediterranean Basin and their Impacts on Mediterranean Societies"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Climatology and Meteorology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Shlomit Paz
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel
Interests: climate change; climate variability; extreme events; climate impacts on the human health and security
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The climate of the Mediterranean region is determined by the interaction between mid-latitude and sub-tropical circulation regimes and a complex morphology of mountain chains and land–sea contrasts. This makes the region one of the main climate change hotspots and one of the most responsive areas to global warming. During the last few decades, the Mediterranean basin has become warmer with a significant increase in the frequency, intensity and duration of heat waves. In addition, the basin is characterized by a reduction in the availability of potable water as a result of decrease in the total amount of precipitation, change in rainfall patterns and water overuse by the growing population.

This vulnerable area, populated by over 500 million people, has significant gaps in the socio-economic levels among countries, particularly between the North (Europe) and South (Africa), together with population density, migration and increased water demand.

The Special Issue on "Climate Variabilities and Changes in the Mediterranean Basin and their Impacts on Mediterranean Societies" will include: 1) observations and detections of current climate variabilities and changes; 2) future predictions using recent multi-model initiatives and statistical modelling approaches; 3) contributions on extreme events and hazards. All manuscript should refer to the impacts on Mediterranean societies.

Prof. Dr. Shlomit Paz
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Mediterranean
  • climate change
  • climate variability
  • extreme events
  • Mediterranean societies

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Impacts of Climate Change on the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East and North Africa Region and the Water–Energy Nexus
Atmosphere 2019, 10(8), 455; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10080455 - 09 Aug 2019
Abstract
The present paper aims to elucidate impacts of climate change on the availability and security of water and energy in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA region; including the Eastern Mediterranean) in the context of the water–energy nexus. It largely builds [...] Read more.
The present paper aims to elucidate impacts of climate change on the availability and security of water and energy in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA region; including the Eastern Mediterranean) in the context of the water–energy nexus. It largely builds on existing knowledge and understanding and aims to present a review of existing information on this topic. The region is particularly challenged by a number of factors, including the large variability of bio-geographical characteristics, extreme population growth over the last few decades, and substantial societal and economical transitions, as well as armed conflicts in some of the countries in the region. Anticipated changes in climate conditions will exacerbate the challenges regarding water and energy security in the region. Major impacts of climate change include a significant increase in summer temperatures, which will lead to a growing number of heat waves, primarily in urban structures. A general decrease in precipitation in many of the MENA countries is foreseen, resulting in enhanced droughts and a growing number of dry spells. In addressing energy and water scarcities and their mutual interrelationships, an integrated water–energy nexus concept offers promising prospects to improve environmental, climate, human, and political security. However, only very few countries in the MENA region have presently implemented such a concept. Mitigation and adaptation strategies addressing water and energy scarcity include enhanced efficiency of resource use, integrated technology assessments regarding electricity generation, and a stronger reliance on renewable/solar technologies. While looking at the MENA region as a whole, some emphasis will be given to Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Urban Rainfall Anomaly under Intensive Development, 1949–2018, Case of Tel-Aviv, Israel
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040163 - 27 Mar 2019
Abstract
The primary objective here is the study of the urban rainfall anomaly patterns, particularly the positive/negative dipole reported in the literature as well as their temporal/spatial evolution due to rapid urban development. The spatial changes in the annual rainfall distribution, eastward and downwind [...] Read more.
The primary objective here is the study of the urban rainfall anomaly patterns, particularly the positive/negative dipole reported in the literature as well as their temporal/spatial evolution due to rapid urban development. The spatial changes in the annual rainfall distribution, eastward and downwind of the largest coastal urban area of Israel, i.e., the Greater Tel Aviv region, in relation to the rapid expansion of the urban area are analyzed. This provides a unique opportunity, as shown here, to study the effect of a most rapid urban expansion on the potential for urban rainfall anomalies. Tel-Aviv probably serves as a case study for other fast-growing Mediterranean cities. Rain gauges’ data (over 100) collected over a period of 70 years (1948–2018), are divided into six sub-periods of 20 years and plotted on top of the urban area growth in those years. The average precipitation spatial distributions and their anomalies are both calculated for each sub-period. The results were examined along three geographic lines of particularly rapid urban expansion over the area, towards the northeast, east, and southeast. Increases of the precipitation downwind of the urban area are noticed when progressing along with the urban development. In addition, an upwind decrease over the coastal region is found. These findings are well correlated with the expansion of the urban area and the rainfall urban anomalies, P d e v , are of the order of 50–100 mm/y. Other potential explanations to these anomalies are discussed and suggested to be less feasible. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Medieval Climate in the Eastern Mediterranean: Instability and Evidence of Solar Forcing
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010029 - 13 Jan 2019
Abstract
This paper examines the hydroclimate history of the Eastern Mediterranean (EM) region during the 10th to 14th centuries C.E., a period known as the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA), a time of significant historical turmoil and change in the region. The study assembles several [...] Read more.
This paper examines the hydroclimate history of the Eastern Mediterranean (EM) region during the 10th to 14th centuries C.E., a period known as the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA), a time of significant historical turmoil and change in the region. The study assembles several regional hydroclimatic archives, primarily the Dead Sea reconstructed lake level curve together with the recently extracted deep-lake sediment record, the Soreq Cave speleothem record and its counterpart, the EM marine sediment record and the Cairo Nilometer record of annual maximum summer flood levels in lower Egypt. The Dead Sea record is a primary indicator of the intensity of the EM cold-season storm activity while the Nilometer reflects the intensity of the late summer monsoon rains over Ethiopia. These two climate systems control the annual rainfall amounts and water availability in the two regional breadbaskets of old, in Mesopotamia and Egypt. The paleoclimate archives portray a variable MCA in both the Levant and the Ethiopian Highlands with an overall dry, early-medieval climate that turned wetter in the 12th century C.E. However, the paleoclimatic records are markedly punctuated by episodes of extreme aridity. In particular, the Dead Sea displays extreme low lake levels and significant salt deposits starting as early as the 9th century C.E. and ending in the late 11th century. The Nile summer flood levels were particularly low during the 10th and 11th centuries, as is also recorded in a large number of historical chronicles that described a large cluster of droughts that led to dire human strife associated with famine, pestilence and conflict. During that time droughts and cold spells also affected the northeastern Middle East, in Persia and Mesopotamia. Seeking an explanation for the pronounced aridity and human consequences across the entire EM, we note that the 10th–11th century events coincide with the medieval Oort Grand Solar Minimum, which came at the height of an interval of relatively high solar irradiance. Bringing together other tropical and Northern Hemisphere paleoclimatic evidence, we argue for the role of long-term variations in solar irradiance in shaping the early MCA in the EM and highlight their relevance to the present and near-term future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Variations in the Simulation of Climate Change Impact Indices due to Different Land Surface Schemes over the Mediterranean, Middle East and Northern Africa
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010026 - 12 Jan 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The Eastern Mediterranean (EM) and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are projected to be exposed to extreme climatic conditions in the 21st century, which will likely induce adverse impacts in various sectors. Relevant climate change impact assessments utilise data from climate [...] Read more.
The Eastern Mediterranean (EM) and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are projected to be exposed to extreme climatic conditions in the 21st century, which will likely induce adverse impacts in various sectors. Relevant climate change impact assessments utilise data from climate model projections and process-based impact models or simpler, index-based approaches. In this study, we explore the implied uncertainty from variations of climate change impact-related indices as induced by the modelled climate (WRF regional climate model) from different land surface schemes (Noah, NoahMP, CLM and RUC). The three climate change impact-related indicators examined here are the Radiative Index of Dryness (RID), the Fuel Dryness Index (Fd) and the Water-limited Yield (Yw). Our findings indicate that Noah simulates the highest values for both RID and Fd, while CLM gives the highest estimations for winter wheat Yw. The relative dispersion in the three indices derived by the different land schemes is not negligible, amounting, for the overall geographical domain of 25% for RID and Fd, and 10% for Yw. The dispersion is even larger for specific sub-regions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Climatic Uncertainty in the Mediterranean Basin and Its Possible Relevance to Important Economic Sectors
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010010 - 02 Jan 2019
Abstract
The Mediterranean Basin is among the densest populated regions of the world with forecasts for a further population increase in the coming decades. Agriculture and tourism are two main economic activities of this region. Both activities depend highly on climate and weather conditions. [...] Read more.
The Mediterranean Basin is among the densest populated regions of the world with forecasts for a further population increase in the coming decades. Agriculture and tourism are two main economic activities of this region. Both activities depend highly on climate and weather conditions. Climate and weather in turn, present a large variability both in space and in time which results in different uncertainty types. Any change in weather and or climate conditions in the coming decades due to climate change may increase this uncertainty. Temporal uncertainty is discussed in detail and different ways of how to exhibit it are presented with examples from various locations in the Mediterranean basin. Forecasted increased uncertainty may in turn increase future challenges for long term planning and managing of agriculture and tourism in that part of the world. Full article
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