RECENT WARMING IN THE BALEARIC SEA AND SPANISH MEDITERRANEAN COAST. TOWARDS AN EARLIER AND LONGER SUMMER

María José López García

Abstract

This paper analyses recent changes in the temperature of the Balearic Sea and surrounding coastal areas. Monthly temperature data from several weather stations located around the Balearic basin have been used to obtain land temperatures during the period 1960-2010, and monthly thermal satellite images from the Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center (PO.DAAC) covering the period 1985-2009 have been processed to obtain sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the Balearic Sea. A rise in temperature has been observed since 1980 and increasingly in the last 25 years, with an average warming trend of 0.039 ºC/year on land for the period 1960-2010 and 0.026 ºC/year in SSTs for 1985-2009. The seasonal analysis showed that, in the last 25 years, higher trends were registered during the transition from spring to summer, with the highest warming rates in June (0.12 ºC/year on land and 0.08 ºC/year in SSTs). Results show a recent tendency towards earlier and longer summers both on land and sea.

 

Keywords

Air temperature, sea surface temperature, global warming, Mediterranean Sea, Balearic Sea, temperature trends, seasonal and temporal variability.

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