Trends in Middle East climate extreme indices from 1950 to 2003



[1] A climate change workshop for the Middle East brought together scientists and data for the region to produce the first area-wide analysis of climate extremes for the region. This paper reports trends in extreme precipitation and temperature indices that were computed during the workshop and additional indices data that became available after the workshop. Trends in these indices were examined for 1950–2003 at 52 stations covering 15 countries, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cyprus, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Turkey. Results indicate that there have been statistically significant, spatially coherent trends in temperature indices that are related to temperature increases in the region. Significant, increasing trends have been found in the annual maximum of daily maximum and minimum temperature, the annual minimum of daily maximum and minimum temperature, the number of summer nights, and the number of days where daily temperature has exceeded its 90th percentile. Significant negative trends have been found in the number of days when daily temperature is below its 10th percentile and daily temperature range. Trends in precipitation indices, including the number of days with precipitation, the average precipitation intensity, and maximum daily precipitation events, are weak in general and do not show spatial coherence. The workshop attendees have generously made the indices data available for the international research community.