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Keywords:

  • heat waves;
  • Mediterranean;
  • data homogenization

[1] A new data set of high-quality homogenized daily maximum and minimum summer air temperature series from 246 stations in the eastern Mediterranean region (including Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey) is developed and used to quantify changes in heat wave number, length and intensity between 1960 and 2006. Daily temperature homogeneity analyses suggest that many instrumental measurements in the 1960s are warm-biased, correcting for these biases regionally averaged heat wave trends are up to 8% higher. We find significant changes across the western Balkans, southwestern and western Turkey, and along the southern Black Sea coastline. Since the 1960s, the mean heat wave intensity, heat wave length and heat wave number across the eastern Mediterranean region have increased by a factor of 7.6 ± 1.3, 7.5 ± 1.3 and 6.2 ± 1.1, respectively. These findings suggest that the heat wave increase in this region is higher than previously reported.