This two part studies lead by Leonardo Valerio Noto (Università degli Studi di Palermo, Italy) focuses on the main recent works on climate change in the Mediterranean Basin across the last ten years of research to review the main observed and predicted effects of climate change on hydrological processes directly related to water availability in the Mediterranean Basin, the main challenges that these potential future changes may pose and the main issues concerning climate change modeling and impact analyses.
Climate Change in the Mediterranean Basin (Part I): Induced Alterations on Climate Forcings and Hydrological Processes
In the last years, the Mediterranean basin has been widely recognized as one of the most vulnerable areas in the world to climate change; because of its high concentration of urban and industrial settlements, it is one of the most impacted areas of the world in terms of water scarcity. The present paper aims at reviewing the main observed and predicted effects of climate change on hydrological processes directly related to water availability in the Mediterranean Basin, mainly focusing on the last ten years of research. While an in-depth discussion about possible future water scarcity problem in the Mediterranean area and the sources of uncertainty affecting future climate projections and impact assessments is presented in a companion paper (Noto et al., 2022), this study highlights how most of the more recent studies for the Mediterranean region are concordant and recognize a general increasing future trajectory in both the mean and extreme values of air temperatures. On the contrary, there is much less agreement about the intensity and directions of future projections for other variables, such as precipitation, evapotranspiration, and runoff, whose changes are less evident and variable in space.
Noto, L.V., Cipolla, G., Francipane, A. et al. Climate Change in the Mediterranean Basin (Part I): Induced Alterations on Climate Forcings and Hydrological Processes. Water Resour Manage (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-022-03400-0
Climate Change in the Mediterranean Basin (Part II): A Review of Challenges and Uncertainties in Climate Change Modeling and Impact Analyses
The Mediterranean basin is particularly prone to climate change and vulnerable to its impacts. One of the most relevant consequences of climate change, especially for the southern Mediterranean regions, is certainly water scarcity as result of a reduction of surface runoff and groundwater levels. Despite the progress achieved in recent years in the field of climate change and its impact on water resources, results and outcomes should be treated with due caution since any future climate projection and derived implications are inevitably affected by a certain degree of uncertainty arising from each different stage of the entire modeling chain. This work offers a comprehensive overview of recent works on climate change in the Mediterranean basin, mainly focusing on the last ten years of research. Past and future trends on different components of the hydrological balance are discussed in a companion paper (Noto et al. 2022), while the present paper focuses on the problem of water availability and water scarcity. In addition, the work aims to discuss the most relevant sources of uncertainty related to climate change with the aim to gain awareness of climate change impact studies interpretation and reliability.
Noto, L.V., Cipolla, G., Pumo, D. et al. Climate Change in the Mediterranean Basin (Part II): A Review of Challenges and Uncertainties in Climate Change Modeling and Impact Analyses. Water Resour Manage (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-023-03444-w