Special Issue "Long Term Climate Variability in the Mediterranean Region"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 9 July 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Pedro Ribera
Website
Guest Editor
Physical, Chemical and Natural Systems Department, Faculty of Experimental Sciences, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, 41013 Sevilla, Spain
Interests: climate variability; climate dynamics; climate reconstruction; historical climatology
Dr. M. Carmen Alvarez-Castro
Website
Guest Editor
Climate Simulation and Prediction Division (CSP), Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici, CMCC, 40127 Bologna, Italy
Interests: historical climatology; climate dynamics; extreme events; Mediterranean climate variability; seasonal forecast

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Mediterranean region is an area where prediction at different timescales (subseasonal to decadal or even longer timescales) keeps being a challenge. In order to improve future predictions, the study of the past climate is crucial. By improving our knowledge about the past and the current climate, our knowledge about the future climate will be improved. This Special Issue aims to collect as much information as possible about long-term climate variability in the Mediterranean region. We welcome different studies using observations, proxies, re-analyses and models for assessing the characteristics, the main processes, and the variability of the Mediterranean Climate from the past to the future.

Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • The past of the Mediterranean region: from the last millennium to historical climatology in the Mediterranean area (using models, proxies or observations);
  • Mechanisms associated with extreme events in the Mediterranean region;
  • Compounds events affecting the Mediterranean region;
  • Assessing the role of the oceanic and atmospheric modes of variability in the Mediterranean region climate using models, observations or proxies;
  • Teleconnections associated to the Mediterranean region;
  • The future of the Mediterranean region: from subseasonal to decadal predictions;
  • Climate change and the Mediterranean region: attribution studies of extreme events associated to the climate change;
  • Risks, vulnerability, and impacts in the Mediterranean region: assessment, mitigation, and adaptation strategies.

Prof. Dr. Pedro Ribera
Dr. M. Carmen Alvarez-Castro
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Mediterranean climate
  • climate variability
  • historical climatology
  • climate reconstruction
  • climate models
  • extreme events
  • climate forecast

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Contrasting Signals of the Westerly Index and North Atlantic Oscillation over the Drought Sensitivity of Tree-Ring Chronologies from the Mediterranean Basin
Atmosphere 2020, 11(6), 644; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11060644 - 17 Jun 2020
Abstract
Extreme drought events are becoming increasingly frequent and extended, particularly in Mediterranean drought-prone regions. In this sense, atmospheric oscillations patterns, such as those represented by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index and the Westerly Index (WI) have been widely proven as reliable proxies [...] Read more.
Extreme drought events are becoming increasingly frequent and extended, particularly in Mediterranean drought-prone regions. In this sense, atmospheric oscillations patterns, such as those represented by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index and the Westerly Index (WI) have been widely proven as reliable proxies of drought trends. Here, we used the Standardized Precipitation–Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI), as a reliable indicator of drought, to investigate the drought sensitivity of tree-ring width data (TRW) from several long-lived tree species (Abies borisii-regis, Abies cilicica, Abies pinsapo, Cedrus atlantica, Cedrus libanii, Pinus nigra, Pinus heldreichii). NAO and WI relations with TRW were also investigated in order to identify potential non-stationary responses among those drought proxies. Our temporal and spatial analyses support contrasting Mediterranean dipole patterns regarding the drought sensitivity of tree growth for each tree species. The spatial assessment of NAO and WI relationships regarding SPEI and TRW showed on average stronger correlations westward with non-stationary correlations between annual WI index and TRW in all species. The results indicate that the drought variability and the inferred drought-sensitive trees species (e.g., C. atlantica) are related to the NAO and the WI, showing that TRW is a feasible proxy to long-term reconstructions of Westerly Index (WI) variability in the Western Mediterranean region. Spatial variability of drought severity suggests a complex association between NAO and WI, likely modulated by an east–west Mediterranean climate dipole. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Long Term Climate Variability in the Mediterranean Region)
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Open AccessArticle
Heavy Rainfall and Landslide Event in January 1831 at the Pedregoso Mountains (Cabeza Del Buey, SW Spain)
Atmosphere 2020, 11(5), 544; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050544 - 23 May 2020
Abstract
In this work, a landslide event that took place on January 1831 at the Pedregoso Mountains, Cabeza del Buey, SW Spain, is described. This landslide had not been documented to date and was only described in the local press. This event involved an [...] Read more.
In this work, a landslide event that took place on January 1831 at the Pedregoso Mountains, Cabeza del Buey, SW Spain, is described. This landslide had not been documented to date and was only described in the local press. This event involved an estimated amount of dislodged material in the order of 104 m3. The amount of meteorological data is very scarce as the event occurred before the setting up of the national meteorological service in Spain. However, data from the relatively near location of SW Iberia suggest that the landslide was preceded by a prolonged period of unusually high precipitation totals and that this intense wet period is compatible with the large-scale atmospheric configuration in the winter of 1829–1830. In fact, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index for that winter achieved one of the most negative values observed in the bicentennial period spanning 1821 to 2019. This multidisciplinary work represents the first attempt to report and describe the main triggering mechanism for an historical landslide in the Extremadura region that is similar to other great historical landslides which have already been documented for other locations in Spain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Long Term Climate Variability in the Mediterranean Region)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Extreme Temperature Events over the Iberian Peninsula during the 21st Century Using Dynamic Climate Projections Chosen Using Max-Stable Processes
Atmosphere 2020, 11(5), 506; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050506 - 14 May 2020
Abstract
Due to climate change, the Iberian Peninsula is suffering an increasing trend of extreme temperature events. The main objective of this study is to analyse this trends in frequency, duration and intensity of warm events and heat waves. The datasets used are 14 [...] Read more.
Due to climate change, the Iberian Peninsula is suffering an increasing trend of extreme temperature events. The main objective of this study is to analyse this trends in frequency, duration and intensity of warm events and heat waves. The datasets used are 14 different regionalized dynamic climate projections. We choose the projections that present a spatial dependence similar to that of observed data. The spatial dependence is calculated by adjusting the data to max-stable processes. The observed data belong to the SPAIN02 grid for the period 1961–2000. We apply the Mann-Kendall test and the Theil-Sen estimator to calculate model trends in the future period (2011–2099). We have studied future extreme temperature events using two different definitions. One varying the threshold for each period and the other keeping it constant. The results show that the variability of maximum temperatures is decreasing for the western region of the Peninsula, while the Mediterranean area will see an increase in this variability. There will be an increase in the frequency of warm events for the southwestern corner of the Peninsula. Also, maximum temperatures will be higher in this area at the end of the century. However, in the Mediterranean region the warm events will last longer. Heat waves will be more frequent throughout the territory and more lasting in the Mediterranean area. We also found that studying extreme events using a varying threshold allows these events to be studied from the point of view of the variability of maximum temperatures, while if the study is carried out maintaining the threshold constant the results will be more direct. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Long Term Climate Variability in the Mediterranean Region)
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Open AccessArticle
Recovering Climate Data from Documentary Sources: A Study on the Climate in the South of Spain from 1792 to 1808
Atmosphere 2020, 11(3), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11030296 - 18 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
This work analyses new climate data on Southern Spain during the period 1792–1808. The data source is the periodical Correo Mercantil de España y sus Indias (Mercantile Mail of Spain and the Spanish Indies), which published weekly summaries of the weather conditions in [...] Read more.
This work analyses new climate data on Southern Spain during the period 1792–1808. The data source is the periodical Correo Mercantil de España y sus Indias (Mercantile Mail of Spain and the Spanish Indies), which published weekly summaries of the weather conditions in Spain over this period. The study focuses on the southern provinces, providing 2788 new records, some of them corresponding to areas with no previously recorded data (Córdoba, Jaén). The analysis indicates the predominance of cold and dry winters, cold and wet springs, warm and dry summers, and variable autumn conditions, cold and humid in the western provinces while warm and dry in the eastern provinces. Some examples of these situations are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Long Term Climate Variability in the Mediterranean Region)
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Open AccessArticle
Pro-Pluvia Rogation Ceremonies in Extremadura (Spain): Are They a Good Proxy of Winter NAO?
Atmosphere 2020, 11(3), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11030282 - 14 Mar 2020
Abstract
Rogation ceremonies are religious requests to God. Pro-pluvia rogations were celebrated during dry conditions to ask God for rain. In this work, we have recovered 37 pro-pluvia rogations from 14 documentary sources (e.g.,: ecclesiastical manuscripts, books, and different magazines and newspapers). All of [...] Read more.
Rogation ceremonies are religious requests to God. Pro-pluvia rogations were celebrated during dry conditions to ask God for rain. In this work, we have recovered 37 pro-pluvia rogations from 14 documentary sources (e.g.,: ecclesiastical manuscripts, books, and different magazines and newspapers). All of the rogations were celebrated in Extremadura region (interior of southwest of Spain) during the period 1824–1931. Climate of Extremadura is strongly dominated by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Therefore, pro-pluvia rogations have been associated to the NAO index and the relationship between them has been analyzed. The most relevant results are found in the relationship between pro-pluvia rogations in month n and the positive values of the NAO index for months n-1 and n-2, being statistically significant at 95% confidence level. Thus, the results evidence that the rogation ceremonies of Extremadura are a good proxy for the NAO index. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Long Term Climate Variability in the Mediterranean Region)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Drought Sensitivity of Long-Lived Trees Supports the Westerly Index as Indicator of the North Atlantic Oscillation over the Mediterranean Basin
Pablo Casas-Gómez, Raúl Sánchez-Salguero, Pedro Ribera and Juan Carlos Linares *
Dpto. Sistemas Físicos, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, 41013 Sevilla, Spain

Abstract: Tree growth has been proven sensitive to climate variability, which allow the reconstruction of past climate. Drought sensitivity of different trees species may provide reliable information to investigate long-term spatio-temporal rainfall patterns over the Mediterranean Basin, as well as to validate the relationships among different drought proxies. Here, we investigate the drought sensitivity of several long-lived trees (Abies borisii-regis, Abies cilicica, Abies pinsapo, Cedrus atlantica, Cedrus libanii, Pinus nigra, Pinus heldreichii), using tree-ring width data and observed climate. Standardised Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI), North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and Westerly Index (WI) were also investigated in order to identify potential non-stationary responses among those drought proxies and climate-growth relationships derived from Dendrochrology. The results indicate that the drought variability, inferred by drought-sensitive trees species (such as C. atlantica), is related to the NAO and the WI. Spatial variability of drought severity suggests a complex association between the NAO and the WI, likely modulated by an east-west Mediterranean climate dipole.

 

Assessing the Etesian-Indian Summer Monsoon Connection with CMIP5 Models
F.P. Gomez-Delgado, M.C. Alvarez-Castro, P. Braconnot, D. Gallego, C. Peña-Ortiz, P. Ribera and R. Garcia-Herrera

Abstract: During the summer, the low-level circulation in the eastern Mediterranean is dominated by persistent northerly winds, named “Etesians”, over the Aegean Sea. Several studies have found a significant link between the frequency and strength of these Etesian winds and the strength of the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM). The Indian summer monsoon pulls heat and moisture to the North driving glacial melting in the northern hemisphere and expanding tropical wetlands that might increase the methane release into the atmosphere generating warmer conditions. Due to the importance of these impacts, further knowledge about the dynamics of this relationship is necessary. Usually, this relationship had only been studied in detail for the second half of the 20th century due to the absence of long and continuous series of observed wind in the eastern Mediterranean for previous periods. However, in the recent study of Gomez-Delgado et al. [2019] a new climatic index "Northerly Wind Index" (NWI) has been created using historical winds records taken aboard sailing ships over the eastern Mediterranean since 1880.  In that study, NWI has been used to investigate the NWI-ISM relation in a longer period of time demonstrating that there are two different regimes involved. During the periods of strong positive correlation, the Etesians variability is controlled by two pressure centers, one corresponding to the Asian Monsoon low and the other to the low level high pressure center located over central Europe and the Western Mediterranean. In constrast, when the NWI-ISM correlation fades out, it is the central-west Mediterranean high pressure center which plays the main role in the Etesians variability. In this article we assess the ability of CMIP5 models in reproducing the relationship between the Etesians and the ISM founded in Gomez-Delgado et al. [2019], as well as the impacts in the dynamic of mid-latitudes atmospheric circulation and the future trends in this teleconnection using different scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5). The effect of spatial resolution is also addressed.

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