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Program focuses on climate of the Mediterranean region

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Abstract

Located between subtropical and mid-latitude climates, the Mediterranean region acts as a transition area and is very sensitive to global climate change: As global temperatures have risen, the Mediterranean region has warmed, particularly in the west and in the summer, where surface temperatures in some locations increased at a rate greater than 0.4°C per decade during the second half of the twentieth century. Model simulations give a collective picture of substantial drying and warming of the Mediterranean region in the future, especially summer, with average precipitation expected to decrease by 25–30% and temperatures expected to rise by 4°–5°C by the end of this century, approximately. These changes will likely be accompanied by increased intensity in heat waves and dry spells along with important changes in Mediterranean water masses, which will become warmer and saltier. This future climate change can pose very serious problems to ecosystems and human societies.

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