Observed Changes in Daily Precipitation Extremes at Annual Timescale Over the Eastern Mediterranean During 1961–2012


The Eastern Mediterranean is one of the most prominent hot spots of climate change in the world and extreme climatic phenomena in this region such as drought or extreme rainfall events are expected to become more frequent and intense. In this study climate extreme indices recommended by the joint World Meteorological Organization Expert Team on Climate Change Detection and Indices are calculated for daily precipitation data in 70 weather stations during 1961–2012. Observed trends and changes in daily precipitation extremes over the EM basin were analysed using the RClimDex package, which was developed by the Climate Research Branch of the Meteorological Service of Canada. Extreme and heavy precipitation events showed globally a statistically significant decrease in the Eastern Mediterranean and, in the southern parts, a significant decrease in total precipitation. The overall analysis of extreme precipitation indices reveals that decreasing trends are generally more frequent than increasing trends. We found statistically significant decreasing trends (reaching 74% of stations for extremely wet days) and increasing trends (reaching 36% of stations for number of very heavy precipitation days). Finally, most of the extreme precipitation indices have a statistically significant positive correlation with annual precipitation, particularly the number of heavy and very heavy precipitation days.

Pure and Applied Geophysics, 175:3875–3890