One after the other, the temperature records recorded in the first quarter of 2024 in Greece are being broken. The winter of 2023-2024 was the warmest on record for Greece, according to preliminary data from the Climate Change Service (C3S) of European Copernicus program which his scientific team analyzed meteo.gr/E.A.A.

During the months of December 2023, January and February 2024 there were temperatures with values ​​quite high for the levels of the season. In fact, as pointed out by meteo.gr/E.A.A. the winter of 2023-2024 is recorded as the warmest on record for Greece, surpassing the winter of 2015-2016.

In particular, according to the meteo.gr network of 53 meteorological stations of the National Observatory of Athens (EAA), this year’s January was characterized by many days with positive temperature deviations, while for Northern Greece and Thessaly it was the second warmest January since 2010. In fact, in region of Western Macedonia, temperatures were recorded which were up to 3.0 °C above normal levels for the season.

A similar picture was presented in February as according to the data of meteo.gr/EAA it was the warmest February in the last 15 years in Northern Greece. As the research director of IEPVA/EAA, Dr. Kostas Lagouvardos February this year was a month with strong temperature deviations. Indicatively, values ​​up to 4.0 °C above normal levels for the season were recorded in Macedonia and Thessaly.

Reaching the end of March the picture for higher temperatures for normal levels for the season does not change. As Mr. Lagouvardos explains to APE-MPE, according to the preliminary estimates for the third month of the year, and based on the data up to March 28, 2024, there are relative deviations of 1.5 to 2 degrees above the normal levels for the season. The exception is Epirus which, according to the data so far, records deviations of the order of one degree.

At the same time, as Mr. Lagouvardos emphasizes to APE-MPE, with the estimates so far, the first 10 days of April are expected to be warm, starting from next week. In particular, according to the latest forecast data from meteo.gr / National Observatory of Athens, the atmospheric circulation over Europe in the coming days will favor the transport of extremely warm for the season gas masses from Africa to Eastern Europe. This situation will result in temperatures up to 15-16 degrees Celsius higher than the normal levels for the season. In fact, it is possible that the temperature at the beginning of the week will approach or even exceed 30 degrees Celsius in parts of the mainland, as reported by meteo.gr

It is worth noting that the rainfall in the country is also reduced, resulting in an increase in drought, which, as Mr. Lagouvardos mentions, creates a concern for a worsening of the fuel situation, something that will however be reassessed in the next period.

Global average sea surface temperature increased – What is happening in the Mediterranean and what are the effects of climate change

However, the temperature of the sea surface is also increasing worldwide, while as he points out to the Athenian-Macedonian News Agency the professor of Marine Biology at the University of the Aegean (Chairman of the Department of Oceanography and Marine Life Sciences, University of the Aegean, Member of the MedPAN Scientific Committee), Drosos Koutsoubas during the last 30 years there has been an increase in the temperature of the waters of the Mediterranean by approximately 1.5 degrees Celsius leading to the “tropicalization” of the Mediterranean (Mediterranean Tropicalization) which results in the invasion of a large number of foreign – non-native species (biological invaders) in the Mediterranean creating problems in the populations of indigenous species of the marine biosphere and their habitats, but also in humans.

According to Mr. Koutsoumba, summarizing the biggest risks facing the Mediterranean seas from climate change are the increase in water temperature resulting in the entry of non-native species, the acidification of the sea, i.e. the decrease in the pH of the seawater and the increasing acidity, sea heat waves and rising sea levels resulting in erosion.

Regarding the acidification of the sea as explained by Mr. Koutsoumbas, the addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere increases the dissolved carbon dioxide leading to the increase of acidity in the oceans. “Increased carbon dioxide values ​​lead to a reduced PH in the oceans which affects all organisms that are made of calcium carbonate because the acid dissolves the calcium carbonate so they can’t build their skeletons,” Mr. Koutsoubas points out.

About the sea heatwaves, Mr. Koutsoumbas speaking to APE-MPE on the sidelines of the speech on “Climate change and its effects on the Mediterranean seas: From theory to practice” organized by the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature in the context of the new cycle “Nature Protection Lab” notes: “And what’s even worse is the fact that in addition to having a higher temperature as an average degree, 1.5 degrees Celsius in the last 30 years is also the periods that the high temperature values ​​last. The scientific community calls it marine heatwaves, that is, for long periods of 20, 30 days, you have temperatures that are relatively abnormal. Instead of having temperatures of 22-23 degrees in the summer you have 28.29, which obviously leads to extreme conditions and even to the death of many organisms.”

At the same time, as he underlines, it is not only the issue of climate change, but also man-made activities such as navigation, overfishing, plastic pollution, a series of man-made interventions in habitats which means that all of these act together with the increase in temperature and the climate change cumulatively and adds that this increases the pressure. “The most likely thing is that we will not be able to achieve the goals and the only effort that anyone can make is to increase the areas that we have intact, that is, to make untouched areas closer to their natural state”, notes Mr. Koutsoubas. .