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Victor G.

Eastern Mediterranean Climate change

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Victor G.

So they're saying that the temperarure is rising and annual rainfall is getting less and less but I have made two observations in the last 3-4 years: (I live in Athens, Greece)

1) The average low temperature during winter might be getting a little higher (about 0,5 °C), but we're getting heavier cold fronts (more frosts, much more snowfall, etc.) which is fatal when growing tropical plants

2) The summer has indeed more heatwaves, but when the heatwaves pass, the normal summer appears to be cooler than it used to be many years ago.
Also here in Athens, we're getting more rain in the summer (happens also to southern Greece, where the summer was virtually rainfree).

I was wondering, has anyone made similar observations? (Although I ask about the Eastern Mediterranean, it would be nice to hear opinions from all around the world too)

Greetings, Victor

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oasis371

Precipitation around NYC (and Northeast USA in general), is MUCH higher in the last two decades, and this includes anomalous rainfalls and winter snowfalls..  It's only early September and we have over 300% surplus of our annual precipitation.  One foot (12 inches) of rain fell in July, another foot in August we got 8 inches already for September and are currently in a flood warning for more rainfall storms. Both tornadoes and hurricanes seem to be playing a more active role in local weather.  Summer temps are sustained at a higher level (especially at night), humidity is MUCH higher and weather patterns in general are more stagnant (I remember more cold fronts and garden variety summer thunderstorms as a kid, now we have added derechos to our vocabulary (storms with violent straight-line winds, non-twisting/non-tornadic).  Several times this summer, we had ground level smoke and unhealthy air quality from western megafires burning 3,000 miles away. The overall higher annual precipitation though also seems to include more "flash droughts".  Spring seems to come earlier and Winter seems to come later, as winter itself has featured both anomalous warmth AND polar vortices as polar air has gotten displaced thousands of miles south from the arctic (as the arctic warms most of all).  Is that dramatic enough?

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Victor G.

Wow it's too extreme for you guys! Sorry to hear that :(

Like I wrote, I've also noticed some changes, but nothing to extreme yet.. I fear what will come though

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Silas_Sancona

Hotter for sure ..pretty much year round. Cold spells are brief, when they occur. Will likely become less and less impactful state wide in the future.. Good for some stuff, horrible for water supply. 

Overall region has been in a drought since ..2000, and this might just be the start of a much longer drought cycle for this section of the U.S. 

Summer rainfall, already fickle and hard to forecast, which while not near as great as further south, used to be spread out over a longer period of our " monsoon season " has become more volatile.. This year was extremely wet, compared to the last two years ( last year esp. ) being almost completely dry..  This is also the first year since records have been kept there, Tucson has seen a monthly rainfall total, in the summer, above 7" ) Records go back to the late 1800's.  What happens w/ the summer rainfall cycle here in the coming years is also big hard to answer  question.. Some Wx modeling lean wetter, with more scorching breaks between extreme rain events..  Other current modeling leans drier..

Winter rainfall / snowfall is a little more clear, the direction it may be headed in anyway ..Essentially, less to no snow many more years than the opposite for many areas in the mountains / northern part of the state ( where it is typically cooler, even during the summer ), and more rain, -when it rains..  Rain, in most years anyway, likely won't be enough to make up the difference in runoff benefit between it and what snow pack contributes to the water supply.

Heat is definitely going to get worse ..and for those who say " But!, but! the Urban heat island effect!! " yes, there is a clear contribution from that,  but.. areas far removed from any of the state's urban centers, and, wait for it!, up in the mountains ..are setting more records lately than here in the lower elevations.  " Winter " will get shorter, -than it already is, " Summer " will last much longer.  Wouldn't be surprised to see a year in the future where day time highs don't ever drop below 75-80F ~ for an entire year / lows stay above 40-45F, in the low / middle elevation deserts at least, that winter.  Phoenix itself barely escaped an overnight low in the low 100s this summer.  Will happen, possibly in Tucson ( much smaller city than Phoenix ) as well on more than a night or two in July or August,  soon enough.

Iconic Pine forests up in the mountains, esp. the north / east of Phoenix , may be nearly eliminated from most parts of the state, and that's not counting what is laid bare by fires, and does not regenerate afterwards.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, - esp. if more of the state sees an increase in summer precip. you could see various trees/ other plants in more tropical Genus / Families pioneer new territory in some areas in the southern part of AZ in the future. When i say " tropical " i don't mean stuff you'd see in the Amazon, the Congo, or S.E. Asia.. these would be Dry Tropical Forest species that already occur 200-450 miles south of the AZ / Mexico border in Sonora Proper. As lush as those parts of Mexico can look when it rains, ..it is a very dry part of North America overall.





 

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Victor G.

Interesting stuff!

I read somewhere that the hardiness zones are slowly moving upwards (in the US as well as in Europe), for example areas that were 9b will become 10a and so on...


It gets me wondering however, since last winter had an especially cold front all over the northern hemisphere (hundreds of Texas palms died sadly, Spain was literally buried in snow, etc).
Some forecasting models are predicting that this winter will also have freezing temperatures and cold spells, at least in southern Europe (it's too soon to make accurate predictions of course, but I didn't like the idea to be honest)

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Silas_Sancona
4 hours ago, Victor G. said:

Interesting stuff!

I read somewhere that the hardiness zones are slowly moving upwards (in the US as well as in Europe), for example areas that were 9b will become 10a and so on...


It gets me wondering however, since last winter had an especially cold front all over the northern hemisphere (hundreds of Texas palms died sadly, Spain was literally buried in snow, etc).
Some forecasting models are predicting that this winter will also have freezing temperatures and cold spells, at least in southern Europe (it's too soon to make accurate predictions of course, but I didn't like the idea to be honest)

That is the thought, and shifts like this are occurring world wide.. By how much?, and how much will X zone shift over the next ..say 30-50 years?  is the bigger question that can't  be answered 100%.. That said, one can tease out some level of direction ( that temperatures, esp. winter minimums may be headed ), by carefully observing trends that appear in that time frame. Some areas will definitely warm faster than others, as has already been seen.

Even in a warming world, you'll still be vulnerable to a one off winter or two where some degree of unusual cold occurs, somewhere unexpected..  thanks in part to the same sometimes weird jet stream / upper level wind patterns / configurations caused by a warmer / warming Arctic / other out of wack things that influence wide scale weather patterns.

That said,  Eventually, a time may come where there simply isn't enough cold air left in the arctic / not enough time during the winter up there for really cold air to build up and get knocked south.. What might have caused a continent - wide freeze, might only bring frosty 30s to the far northern tier of the U.S. ( i use this example only because i'm not well versed w/ the more detailed nuances that influence how cold air moves across Europe. Imagine how cold air masses move around there is a bit more complex than here ) Something like that is probably a ways off,  if it occurs though.  For now, just remember that a strangely cold winter could occur at least once in the next 10-25 years ( or so )  in the back of your mind..  And that even with such a cold 2-4 week period in say January,  the rest of the year could trend warm enough to completely off set that cold spell and any records that might have occurred during it.

Part of a changing climate is chaos and we'll see plenty more of that, and periods where things seem to calm down / take a bit of a break - between craziness.  Those who haven't seen too much " craziness " yet ? your number will come up, guaranteed.

It is that craziness that creates more challenges for everything in the environment which might have been used to a more predictable rhythm.  Some things will adapt / evolve to accept less predictability / stability / more extremes,  others probably will not..   Yes, climate has always shifted back and forth,  but not at the pace it may change this time around.. That's the problem.

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Victor G.

@Silas_Sancona I think that's the perfect description you gave there. Exactly the things I had in mind too. We'll just have to wait and see how it evolves

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Hutch

NHey......Victor....here in the PNW....things have changed too....i was born and raised in Oregon....and it has gotten more extreme at points ...on weather patterns...Hot dry....cold dry....and less rainfall..moving more towards N.Cal weather...

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Victor G.
6 hours ago, Hutch said:

NHey......Victor....here in the PNW....things have changed too....i was born and raised in Oregon....and it has gotten more extreme at points ...on weather patterns...Hot dry....cold dry....and less rainfall..moving more towards N.Cal weather...

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Yeah I read this summer even Canada reached 51°C! Amazing! But have you also noticed more aggresive cold invasions in the winter?

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Chester B
19 hours ago, Victor G. said:

Yeah I read this summer even Canada reached 51°C! Amazing! But have you also noticed more aggresive cold invasions in the winter?

No. We are fortunate on the west coast the mountains block the worst of the cold. The rest of the continent is wide open to the Arctic so areas even as far south as Texas and North Florida can experience more cold than us. I’m in my sixth year living here but speaking with any native Oregonians they all say winters have gotten milder and in general things are warmer year round as well as drier. Any cold snap we have is generally pretty mild and short lived.  If you look at the winters over the past 50 years the warming trend is very apparent. Things were much different a long time ago.  
 

if the weather continues to follow the recent decades trend I’m expecting a gradual shift in vegetation to more what we see in southern Oregon and Northern California. Instead of fir and spruce and big leaf maple I would expect more oak and Madrone and pine. This summer killed so many trees around me from the heat and drought. Next year the rest of my lawn will be removed, it’s no longer appropriate for our climate and water issues. 

Edited by Chester B
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Victor G.
1 hour ago, Chester B said:

No. We are fortunate on the west coast the mountains block the worst of the cold. The rest of the continent is wide open to the Arctic so areas even as far south as Texas and North Florida can experience more cold than us. I’m in my sixth year living here but speaking with any native Oregonians they all say winters have gotten milder and in general things are warmer year round as well as drier. Any cold snap we have is generally pretty mild and short lived.  If you look at the winters over the past 50 years the warming trend is very apparent. Things were much different a long time ago.  
 

if the weather continues to follow the recent decades trend I’m expecting a gradual shift in vegetation to more what we see in southern Oregon and Northern California. Instead of fir and spruce and big leaf maple I would expect more oak and Madrone and pine. This summer killed so many trees around me from the heat and drought. Next year the rest of my lawn will be removed, it’s no longer appropriate for our climate and water issues. 

Sounds like things are working out for you guys (unless you like the cold). At least temperature-wise. The drought will soon become a problem all over the affected areas

Last year we experienced the biggest snowfall here in Athens, GR of the last 50 years! And it lasted for 2-3 days. Usually if it snows here, it just accumulates a little overnight and gets melted in the morning but last winter it was crazy.
That's why I'm asking all around to see.

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Aceraceae

Haifa Israel would be a great place to try a summer-watered coconut palm. It's half a degree farther north than Bermuda and has a nice Peninsula into the Mediterranean. 

Tripoli on the south coast has a very similar climate, slightly dryer and hotter extremes. Just over the line to BSh from Csa, even though Haifa is slightly hotter year round. 

Both places are plenty hot during the summer but not excessively scorching; both would require a summer water source, with the wetter season being in the winter. 

Looking at the charts, Haifa wins all around even though it's slightly higher latitude, thanks to the microclimate. Both places are using old data. Water temperature bottoms out in the mid to upper 60s. The all time low and hardiness zone (11a) are higher than central Florida cocos locations, and even the winter monthly low is only off by a couple degrees From 60 to near 60. 

Maybe there's already some cocos on this peninsula? I know there's cocos being tried elsewhere in Israel. 

 

 585753916_Screenshot2022-01-0211_07_54AM.thumb.png.d4bcf490511c25a76e7bfed79994b1fe.png

1840253474_Screenshot2022-01-0212_10_22PM.thumb.png.6ff2583e09ff973ea9772bba96801f1a.png

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