Mediterranean sea temperatures break records for second day in a row

ANYONE who has been for a dip in the sea along Valencia’s coast recently can’t have failed to notice how warm the water is at the moment, and they would be right, the Mediterranean is heating up. On Monday and Tuesday of this week, surface seawater temperatures broke records on both days according to reports from Spanish Meteorological Agency, AEMET.

The previous highest temperature of 28.65ºC was recorded on 7 August 2015 but at 5pm on Monday the temperature of the water registered by the Valencia buoy smashed that record by reaching 29.37ºC, and on Tuesday it was higher still at 29.72ºC.

The recorded temperatures have to be verified by Valencia Port Authority but are most likely to stand.

Reaching temperatures over 29º on both Monday and Tuesday is important, say AEMET, but it is even more significant because this anomaly of higher temperatures compared to the norm has been maintained for the past few months in a large part of the western Mediterranean.

The graph below, published by AEMET using information compiled by the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, shows the surface temperature of water in the so-called Balearic Sea, from May this year, comparing it to the average temperature between 1981 and 2010.

The diagrams below show the area described as the Balearic Sea:

Map showing the Balearic Sea (AEMET)
Map showing the Balearic Sea (AEMET)

Effects of warmer sea water

According to AEMET the direct impact of this warm sea is being felt in weaker and warmer sea breezes and in very weak or non-existent land breezes at night, which, in addition to the very high minimum temperatures, accentuates the heat and the sensation of heat at night.

Meanwhile, experts are also warning that the usual storms experienced in Valencia during the gota fria at the end of the summer, could be even more spectacular than normal due to the rise in seawater temperatures.

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