Frequency of heatwaves on the rise since 1950

Frequency of heatwaves on the rise since 1950

Heatwaves have been increasing in frequency in Greece over the last 70 years, according to a recent study by the Meteo unit of the Athens National Observatory on climatic variation and other indicators related to thermal sensation. The study, published in the international scientific journal Climate, covers 1950-2020 and used high-resolution (~10 km) meteorological data from the European Copernicus service’s ERA5-Land dataset.

It found that Greece experienced an average of 0.7 heatwaves per year from 1950 to 2020. This average has increased to 1.1 heatwaves per year from 1990 to 2020. Their duration ranges from 3.7 to 7.5 days on average. It also measured an upward trend in all characteristics of heatwaves (intensity, duration, frequency) over the same period. The areas experiencing at least one heatwave per year have almost doubled since 1990. The greatest increases are mainly in Macedonia, Thessaly, Epirus and the Peloponnese. 

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