The Mediterranean Region – A Hotspot of Climate Change

The projected climatic changes will have a significant impact on the availability of food and water, energy consumption, human health, tourism, economics and ecosystem services in the Mediterranean region.

The Mediterranean region is surrounded by 21 African, Asian and European countries. It is a region between the subtropical and temperate zones and is characterised by high gradients and interannual variabilities of temperature and and precipitation. The southern Mediterranean has a hot and dry desert climate, whereas in some mountainous areas the precipitation is up to 2000 mm/year. The pattern of precipitation is therefore highly dependent on topography. Climate forecasting indicates that the annual precipitation will reduce by 30.5% between 2040 and 2069 and by 5 to 25%  between 2070 and 2099, and that the mean annual temperature will rise by 4.5°C until 2100. As a result, the coolest summers between 2070 and 2099 will be  warmer than the hottest summers between 1961 and 1990. Particularly relevant for the assessment of climate change are extreme events, such as heat waves, major storms and droughts. Model predictions show that the typical durations of summer droughts will rise by more than 30 days.