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Tropical nights in the Spanish Mediterranean coast: recent evolution (1950–2014)

Jorge Olcina Cantos, Roberto Serrano-Notivoli, Javier Miró, Oliver Meseguer-Ruiz*

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The increase in the number of tropical night events constitutes some of the main evidence of the global warming process throughout the Mediterranean region. There has been a significant increase in the number of these events 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, this work analyses the evolution of the number of tropical nights, the length of the episodes, and their frequency. We also discuss the relationship of the number of tropical nights with the increase of the Mediterranean Sea surface temperatures in the sectors of the Algerian and Balearic Seas, as well as possible implications of the additions of this evidence with the urban heat island effect. Tropical nights have effects on thermal discomfort and raises the need to adapt buildings and urban planning to the new climatic reality that is registered in this region, as well as the possibility that events will likely increase in the future.