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CR 78:225-236 (2019)  -  DOI:

Tropical nights on the Spanish Mediterranean coast, 1950-2014

Jorge Olcina Cantos1, Roberto Serrano-Notivoli2, Javier Miró3, Oliver Meseguer-Ruiz4,*

1Interuniversitary Institute of Geography, University of Alicante, Alicante 03690, Spain
2Estación Experimental de Aula Dei - Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (EEAD-CSIC), Zaragoza 50059, Spain
3Department of Earth Physics and Thermodynamics, University of Valencia, Valencia 46010, Spain
4Departamento de Ciencias Históricas y Geográficas, Universidad de Tarapacá, Arica 1010069, Chile
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The increase in the number of tropical nights (TN; minimum temperature ‡20°C) constitutes important evidence of the global warming process throughout the Mediterranean region. A significant increase in the number of these events has been recorded since the second half of the 20th century. From the meteorological observations in the period 1950-2014 in the regions of Valencia and Murcia, in the central sector of the Spanish Mediterranean coast, we analyse the evolution of the number of tropical nights, the length of the episodes and their frequency. Our results indicate that the study regions experienced a significant increase in tropical nights within the last 3 decades due to climate change and the increase in sea surface temperatures (SST) in the central Western Mediterranean. We also discuss the relationship of the number of tropical nights with the increase in the Mediterranean Sea surface temperatures in the neighbouring sectors, as well as the possible implications of the combined effects of this with the urban heat island effect. Tropical nights are a cause of thermal discomfort, and thus there is a need to adapt buildings and manage urban planning to ameliorate this, and to be prepared for more frequent events in the future.

KEY WORDS: Tropical nights · Heat waves · Trends · Sea surface temperature · Spanish Mediterranean coast

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Cite this article as: Olcina Cantos J, Serrano-Notivoli R, Miró J, Meseguer-Ruiz O (2019) Tropical nights on the Spanish Mediterranean coast, 1950-2014. Clim Res 78:225-236.

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