Title: Heat and cold waves trends in the Carpathian Region from 1961 to 2010
Publication Year: 2015
JRC N°: JRC91752
ISSN: 0899-8418
URI: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/joc.4279/abstract
DOI: 10.1002/joc.4279
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The past two decades of the 20th century and the first of the 21st century have been characterized by global temperature rise and increased frequency of weather-induced extreme events such as floods, droughts, heavy rainfall, and heat waves. We investigated the heat and the cold waves in the Carpathian Region, an area whose rich biosphere is endangered by extreme events. We used the daily minimum (T N ) and maximum (T X ) temperature data collected in the framework of the CARPATCLIM project. Such high-resolution (0.1∘ × 0.1∘) gridded data range from January 1961 to December 2010. In this study, a heat wave occurs when temperature is above the 90th percentile for at least five consecutive days and a cold wave occurs when temperature is below the 10th percentile for at least five consecutive days. The percentiles have been computed over the baseline period 1971 – 2000. We distinguish between night-time and daytime events and we discuss heat (and cold) waves considering at least five consecutive night and days with temperature above (below) the selected percentile. For each heat or cold wave event, we assigned duration, severity, and intensity. For these parameters and for frequency, we performed linear trend analysis for the period 1961 – 2010. The trends have been computed on an annual and seasonal basis and tested for statistical significance. Different spatial patterns of heat and cold waves characterize the Carpathian Region: heat wave events show general increase in all the parameters considered, while cold wave events show a decrease in all the variables West to the Carpathians and an increase North – East to the Carpathians. We also compiled a list of the most relevant heat waves that hit the Carpathian Region from 1961 to 2010: out of seven events, four occurred from 2000 to 2010. Instead, the 1960s and the 1980s have been the decades most hit by severe cold waves.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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