CR 48:109-144 (2011)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/cr00967

The state of climate in NW Iberia

M. Gómez-Gesteira1, L. Gimeno1, M. deCastro1, M. N. Lorenzo1, I. Alvarez1,2,*, R. Nieto1, J. J. Taboada3, A. J. C. Crespo1, A. M. Ramos1, I. Iglesias1, J. L. Gómez-Gesteira4, F. E. Santo5, D. Barriopedro6, I. F. Trigo5,6

1EPhysLab (Environmental Physics Laboratory), Universidade de Vigo, Ourense 32004, Spain
2CESAM, Departamento de Fisica, Universidade de Aveiro, Aveiro 3810-193, Portugal
3METEOGALICIA, Xunta de Galicia, Santiago de Compostela 15707, Spain
4CETMAR, Centro Tecnolóxico do Mar, Vigo 36208, Spain
5Instituto de Meteorologia, Lisbon 1749-077, Portugal
6University of Lisbon, CGUL, IDL, Lisbon 1749-016, Portugal

ABSTRACT: Since 1974, there has been a significant increasing trend in land and sea surface temperatures of 0.5 and 0.24°C decade–1 respectively, in the NW Iberian Peninsula. Over the same period, annual precipitation does not show any trend, although some tendencies have been detected at seasonal scales. A significant positive trend, on average of 2 cm decade–1, was also observed in sea level rise from 1943 onwards. Ekman transport perpendicular to the coast (upwelling index) showed a decrease from 1975 to 2008 at both annual and seasonal scales. In addition, the flow of the Miño River (the main river in the area) has also decreased at a mean rate of 18 m3 s–1 decade–1 since 1970. At a synoptic scale, winter cyclone frequency and winter and spring blocking activity have decreased since the 1950s, which may partially explain the winter precipitation decline and the winter and spring temperature increases. These changes in synoptic systems are also in agreement with reported trends in the dominant variability modes of atmospheric circulation affecting NW Iberia, particularly a pronounced positive trend in the North Atlantic Oscillation from the 1970s to the 1990s.


KEY WORDS: Climate · Northwest Iberia · Ekman transport · Land temperature · Precipitation · Sea level rise · Sea surface temperature · Synoptic systems · Teleconnection indices · Weather types


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Cite this article as: Gómez-Gesteira M, Gimeno L, deCastro M, Lorenzo MN and others (2011) The state of climate in NW Iberia. Clim Res 48:109-144. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr00967

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