Drivers of accelerated warming in Mediterranean climate-type regions

Diego Urdiales-Flores, G. Zittis, P. Hadjinicolaou, Sergey Osipov, Klaus Klingmüller, Nikos Mihalopoulos, Maria Kanakidou, Theo Economou, Jos Lelieveld

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    The near-surface temperature in Mediterranean climate-type regions has increased overall similarly or more rapidly than the global mean rates. Although these regions have comparable climate characteristics and are located at similar latitudes, recent warming acceleration is most pronounced in the Mediterranean Basin. Here, we investigate the contributions of several climate drivers to regional warming anomalies. We consider greenhouse gases, aerosols, solar irradiance, land–atmosphere interactions, and natural climate variability modes. Our results highlight the dominant role of anthropogenic greenhouse gas radiative forcing in all Mediterranean climate-type regions, particularly those in the northern hemisphere. In the Mediterranean Basin, the recent warming acceleration is largely due to the combined effect of declining aerosols and a negative trend in near-surface soil moisture. While land-atmosphere feedbacks are also important in other locations (e.g., California and Southern Africa), this synergy is unique in the Mediterranean Basin. These two regional climate drivers have natural and anthropogenic components of equivalent importance. Such feedbacks are not fully resolved in the current regional climate projections.
    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Journalnpj Climate and Atmospheric Science
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jul 20 2023

    Bibliographical note

    KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-08-01
    Acknowledgements: This research was supported by the EMME-CARE project that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program, under Grant Agreement no. 856612, as well as matching co-funding by the Government of Cyprus. N.M. and M.K. acknowledge support by the Action titled “National Νetwork on Climate Change and its Impacts (CLIMPACT)” which is implemented under sub-project 3 of the project "Infrastructure of national research networks in the Fields of Precision Medicine, Quantum Technology and Climate Change", funded by the Public Investment Program of Greece, General Secretary of Research and Technology/Ministry of Development and Investments. The authors wish to thank Dr. P. Zarmpas for providing SO 4 2 data from Athens and Dr. K. Eleftheriadis for providing filters for ion analysis. Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL.


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