Future changes in climate indices relevant to agriculture in the Aegean islands (Greece)

Abstract

The Aegean islands, characterized by strong relief and low vegetation cover, are listed as a region of high desertification risk. Impacts of climate change are expected to affect significantly agricultural production and the local economy. In this paper, projections derived from seven regional climate models (RCMs) are used to examine future climate changes in the Aegean area to identify areas most vulnerable to climate change and to prioritize future interventions in the agricultural sector. Changes in climate indices, derived from the mean ensemble of the seven RCMs, are examined under the medium mitigation (RCP4.5) and the high emission scenario (RCP8.5) for the control (1971–2000), near (2031–2060) and distant (2071–2100) future periods. Ensemble results are calibrated against the long-term historical meteorological record of Naxos Island in the central Cyclades. Annual averaged maximum and minimum temperatures show increases of about 1.5 °C (RCP4.5) or 2.1 °C (RCP8.5) in the near future and almost 2.2 °C (RCP4.5) or 4.5 °C (RCP8.5) in the distant future across the Aegean. Hot days and very hot days (days with Tmax > 30 °C and Tmax > 35 °C, respectively) which negatively affect plant growth are projected to increase considerably, especially in the distant future. Hot days will be more frequent by 30–60 days/year (RCP4.5–RCP8.5), and very hot days by about 10–30 days/year (RCP4.5–RCP8.5) across the Aegean for the period 2071–2100. Total annual precipitation decreases significantly throughout the Aegean islands in the distant future, by 15–25%, while increases in the maximum length of dry spells are projected. Under both RCP scenarios they will last about 100 days, which is 20 days more than in the reference period. Results of this study feed into recommendations for adaptation measures that are to be integrated into agricultural policy which is formulated by the TERRACESCAPE project.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

References

  1. Alpert PT, Ben-Gai A, Baharad Y, Benjamini D, Yekutieli M, Colacino L, Diodato C, Ramis Homar V, Romero R, Michaelides S et al (2002) The paradoxical increase of Mediterranean extreme daily rainfall in spite of decrease in total values. Geophys Res Lett 29:1–4

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Cisneros BEJ, Oki T, Arnell NW, Benito G, Cogley JG, Döll P, Jiang T, Mwakalila SS, Fischer T, Gerten D, Hock, R, Kanae S, Lu X, Mata JL, Pahl-Wostl C, Strzepek KM, Su, B, van den Hurk B (2014) Climate change 2014: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability: contribution of working group II to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change IPCC

  3. Cornes RC, van der Schrier G, van den Besselaar EJM, Jones PD (2018) An ensemble version of the E-OBS temperature and precipitation data sets J Geophys Res: Atmos 123:9391–9409. https://doi.org/10.1029/2017jd028200

  4. Cramer W, Guiot J, Fader M (2018) Climate change and interconnected risks to sustainable development in the Mediterranean. Nat Clim Change 8:972–980. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-018-0299-2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Collins WJ, Bellouin N, Doutriaux-Boucher M, Gedney N, Halloran P, Hinton T, Woodward S (2011) Development and evaluation of an Earth-System model—HadGEM2. Geosci Model Dev 4(4):1051–1075

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. CYPADAPT project on the Development of a national strategy for adaptation to climate change adverse impacts in Cyprus (2013) Report on the future climate change impact, vulnerability and adaptation assessment for the case of Cyprus. Deliverable 3.4, project CYPADAPT LIFE10 ENV/CY/000723. http://uest.ntua.gr/cypadapt/wp-content/uploads/DELIVERABLE3.4.pdf

  7. Dosio A (2016) Projections of climate change indices of temperature and precipitation from an ensemble of bias-adjusted high-resolution EURO-CORDEX regional climate models. J Geophys Res Atmos 121:5488–5511. https://doi.org/10.1002/2015jd024411

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Dosio A, Fischer EM (2018) Will half a degree make a difference? Robust projections of indices of mean and extreme climate in Europe under 1.5°C, 2°C, and 3°C global warming. Geophys Res Lett 45:935–944. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017gl076222

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. EEA (2017) European Environment Agency Report No 1/2017, Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2016, An indicator based report. EEA Report No 1/2017, European Environment Agency. https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/climate-change-impacts-and-vulnerability-2016

  10. Fischer E, Schär C (2010) Consistent geographical patterns of changes in high-impact European heatwaves. Nature Geosci 3:398–403. https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo866

  11. Founda D, Giannakopoulos C (2009) The exceptionally hot summer of 2007 in Athens, Greece—a typical summer in the future climate? Global Planet Change 67(3):227–236

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Giannakopoulos C, Le Sager P, Bindi M, Moriondo M, Kostopoulou E, Goodess CM (2009) Climatic changes and associated impacts in the Mediterranean resulting from a 2 °C global warming. Global Planet Change 68(3):209–224

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Giorgi F (2006) Climate change hot-spots. Geophys Res Lett. https://doi.org/10.1029/2006GL025734

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Gooding MJ, Ellis RH, Shewry PR, Schofield JD (2003) Effects of restricted water availability and increased temperature on the grain filling, drying and quality of winter wheat. J Cereal Sci 37:295–309

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Gubanova K, Li L (2007) Extremes in temperature and precipitation around the Mediterranean basin in an ensemble of future climate scenario simulations. Global Planet Change 57:27–42. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2006.11.012

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Hadjinicolaou P, Giannakopoulos C, Zerefos C, Lange MA, Pashiardis S, Lelieveld J (2011) Mid-21st century climate and weather extremes in Cyprus as projected by six regional climate models. Reg Enviro Change 11:441–457. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-010-0153-1

  17. Hanel M, Buishand TA (2012) Multi-model analysis of RCM simulated 1-day to 30-day seasonal precipitation extremes in the Czech Republic. Hydrol Conf 412–413(Supplement C):141–150. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2011.02.007

  18. Hunt LA, Poorten GVD, Pararajasingham S (1991) Post-anthesis temperature effects on duration and rate of grain filling in some winter and spring wheats. Can J Plant Sci 71:609–617

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Jacob D (2014) EURO-CORDEX: new high-resolution climate change projections for European impact research. Reg Environ Change 14:563–578

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. IPCC 2012 In: Field CB, Barros V, Stocker TF, Qin D, Dokken DJ, Ebi KL, Mastrandrea MD, Mach KJ, Plattner GK, Allen SK, Tignor M, Midgley PM (eds) Managing the risks of extreme events and disasters to advance climate change adaptation, A special report of working groups I and II of the intergovernmental panel on climate change, Cambridge University Press, The Edinburgh Building, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 8RU ENGLAND, pp 582

  21. IPCC 2013 Stocker TF, Qin D, Plattner GK, Tignor M, Allen SK, Boschung J, Nauels A, Xia Y, Bex V, Midgley PM (eds) Climate change 2013: the physical science basis. Contribution of working group I to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, pp 1535 pp

  22. JRC (European Commission’s Joint Research Centre) Ciscar JC, Feyen L, Soria A, Lavalle C, Raes F, Perry M, Nemry F, Demirel H, Rozsai M, Dosio A, Donatelli M, Srivastava A, Fumagalli D, Niemeyer S, Shrestha S, Ciaian P, Himics M, Van Doorslaer B, Barrios S, Ibáñez N, Forzieri G, Rojas R, Bianchi A, Dowling P, Camia A, Libertà G, San Miguel J, de Rigo D, Caudullo G, Barredo JI, Paci D, Pycroft J, Saveyn B, Van Regemorter D, Revesz T, Vandyck T, Vrontisi Z, Baranzelli C, Vandecasteele I, Batista e Silva F, Ibarreta D (2014). Climate impacts in europe. The JRC PESETA II Project. JRC Scientific and Policy Reports, EUR 26586EN

  23. Kostopoulou E, Giannakopoulos C, Hatzaki M, Karali A, Hadjinicolaou P, Lelieveld J, Lange MA (2014) Spatio-temporal patterns of recent and future climate extremes in the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East region. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 14(6):1565–1577

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Kuglitsch FG, Toreti A, Xoplaki E, Della-Marta PM, Zerefos CS, Türkeş M, Luterbacher J (2010) Heat wave changes in the eastern Mediterranean since 1960. Geophys Res Lett 37:L04802. https://doi.org/10.1029/2009GL041841

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Kyselý J, Plavcová E (2010) A critical remark on the applicability of E-OBS European gridded temperature data set for validating control climate simulations. J Geophys Res Atmos. https://doi.org/10.1029/2010JD014123

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Martin GM, Milton SF, Senior CA, Brooks ME, Ineson S, Reichler T, Kim J (2010) Analysis and reduction of systematic errors through a seamless approach to modeling weather and climate. J Clim 23(22):5933–5957

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Mavromatis T (2015) Crop–climate relationships of cereals in Greece and the impacts of recent climate trends. Theor Appl Climatol 120:417–432. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-014-1179-y

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Michelangeli PA, Vrac M, Loukos H (2009) Probabilistic downscaling approaches: application to wind cumulative distribution functions. Geophys Res Lett 36:L11708. https://doi.org/10.1029/2009GL038401

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Leolini L, Moriondo M, Fila G, Costafreda-Aumedes S, Ferrise R, Bindi M (2018) Late spring frost impacts on future grapevine distribution in Europe. Field Crops Res 222:197–208. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2017.11.018

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Lionello P, Scarascia L (2018) The relation between climate change in the Mediterranean region and global warming. Reg Environ Change 18:1481–1493

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Oikonomou C, Flocas HA, Hatzaki M, Asimakopoulos DN, Giannakopoulos C (2008) Future changes in the occurrence of extreme precipitation events in eastern Mediterranean. Global NEST J 10(2):255–262

    Google Scholar 

  32. Olcina Cantos J, Serrano-Notivoli R, Miró J, Meseguer-Ruiz O (2019) Tropical nights on the Spanish Mediterranean coast, 1950–2014. Clim Res 78:225–236. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01569

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Porter JR, Gawith M (1999) Temperatures and the growth and development of wheat: a review. Eur J Agron 10:23–36. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1161-0301(98)00047-1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Ray DK, West PC, Clark M, Gerber JS, Prishchepov AV, Chatterjee S (2019) Climate change has likely already affected global food production. PLoS One 14(5):e0217148. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0217148

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Riahi K, Gruebler A, Nakicenovic N (2007) Scenarios of long-term socio- economic and environmental development under climate stabilization. Technol Forecast Soc Chang 74(7):887–935

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Sillmann J, Kharin VV, Zwiers FW, Zhang X, Bronaugh D (2013) Climate extremes indices in the CMIP5 multimodel ensemble: II. Future climate projections. J Geophys Res Atmos 118:2473–2493

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Sauter R, Ten Brink P, Withana S, Mazza L, Pondichie F, with contributions from Clinton J, Lopes A, Bego K (2013) Impacts of climate change on all European islands, A report by the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) for the Greens/EFA of the European Parliament. Final Report. Brussels 2013

  38. Strandberg G, Bärring A, Hansson U, Jansson C, Jones C, Kjellström E (2014) CORDEX scenarios for Europe from the Rossby Centre regional climate model RCA4. Reports Meteorology and Climatology 116 SMHI, SE-60176 Norrköping Sverige

  39. Tebaldi C, Hayhoe K, Arblaster JM (2006) Going to the extremes an intercomparison of model-simulated historical and future changes in extreme events. Clim Change 79:185. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-006-9051-4

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Thomson AM, Calvin K, Smith SJ, Kyle GP, Volke A, Patel P, Delgado-Arias S, Bond-Lamberty B, Wise MA, Clarke LE et al (2011) RCP4.5: a pathway for stabilization of radiative forcing by 2100. Clim Change 109:77. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-011-0151-4

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. van Vuuren DP, Edmonds J, Kainuma M (2011) The representative concentration pathways: an overview. Clim Change 109:5–31. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-011-0148-z

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Vignjevic M, Wang X, Olesen JE, Wollenweber B (2015) Traits in spring wheat cultivars associated with yield loss caused by a heat stress episode after anthesis. J Agron Crop Sci 201:32–48

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Vrac M, Drobinski P, Merlo A, Herrmann M, Lavaysse C, Li L, Somot S (2012) Dynamical and statistical downscaling of the French Mediterranean climate: uncertainty assessment. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 12:2769–2784

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Voldoire A, Sanchez-Gomez E, Salas y Mélia D, Decharme B, Cassou C, Sénési S, Chauvin F (2012) The CNRM-CM5.1 global climate model: description and basic evaluation. Clim Dyn 40(9):2091–2121. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-011-1259-y

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Vogel E, Donat MG, Alexander LV, Meinshausen M, Ray DK, Karoly D, Meinshausen N, Frieler K (2019) The effects of climate extremes on global agricultural yields. Environ Res Lett 14:054010

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Wahid A, Gelani S, Ashraf M, Foolad MR (2007) Heat tolerance in plants: an overview. Environ Exp Bot 61:199–223

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Warner RM, Erwin JE (2001) Variation in floral induction requirements of Hibiscus sp. J Am Soc Hortic Sci 126(3):262–268

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Zanis P, Kapsomenakis I, Philandras C, Douvis K, Nikolakis D, Kanellopoulou E, Zerefos C, Repapis C (2008) Analysis of an ensemble of present day and future regional climate simulations for Greece. Int J Climatol 29:1614–1633

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Zhang X, Alexander L, Hegerl GC, Jones P, Tank AK, Peterson TC, Trewin B, Zwiers FW (2011) Indices for monitoring changes in extremes based on daily temperature and precipitation data. WIREs Clim Change 2:851–870. https://doi.org/10.1002/wcc.147

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Zhu X, Troy TJ (2018) Agriculturally relevant climate extremes and their trends in the world’s major growing regions. Earth’s Future 6:656–672. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017EF000687

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Zittis G, Hadjinicolaou P, Fnais M, Lelieveld J (2016) Projected changes in heat wave characteristics in the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. Reg Environ Change 16:1863–1876

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. Zittis G, Hadjinicolaou P, Klangidou M, Proestos Y, Lelieveld J (2019) A multi-model, multi-scenario, and multi-domain analysis of regional climate projections for the Mediterranean. Reg Environ Change. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-019-01565-w

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge funding from the European Commission detailed below. The authors wish also to express their thanks to the National Meteorological Service of Greece and the National Observatory of Athens, for providing the meteorological observations.

Funding

The funding source of this study is the European Commission under the LIFE and Climate Change Adaptation programme through the LIFE TERRACESCAPE project (LIFE16 CCA/GR/000050) titled “Employing land stewardship to transform terraced landscapes into green infrastructures to better adapt to climate change”.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Gianna Kitsara.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Communicated by Elena Xoplaki, Chief Editor.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Kitsara, G., van der Schriek, T., Varotsos, K.V. et al. Future changes in climate indices relevant to agriculture in the Aegean islands (Greece). Euro-Mediterr J Environ Integr 6, 34 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41207-020-00233-4

Download citation

Keywords

  • Regional climate models
  • Ensemble mean
  • Future climate change
  • Aegean
  • Greece