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Spatio-temporal analysis of heatwaves characteristics in Greece from 1950 to 2020
In this study, the interannual and decadal variability of seven indices of heatwaves were investigated during the warmest period of the year (June–August) by using an enhanced resolution reanalysis model (ERA5-Land) over a 71-year period (1950–2020) for the area of Greece. Heatwave events are of major concern in the global context, since they can significantly impact ecosystems, economies and societies. For this reason, more detailed analyses of the characteristics and trends of heatwaves represent a priority that cannot be neglected.
Heatwaves were defined as periods where two thresholds, based on a modified version of the Excess Heat Factor index (EHF) and the 95th percentile of the maximum daily temperature, were exceeded for at least three consecutive days. Greece experiences almost yearly 0.7 heatwaves on average during the whole period of study, while this value has increased by ~80% since 1990. Trend analysis revealed that heatwaves have become more frequent, longer, and more intense since 1950. The percentage of the land area that experiences at least one heatwave per year was almost doubled in the examined period. An increasing trend in the number of heatwaves that occurred in June was identified.