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Ambio. 2008 Jun;37(4):280-5.

Climate change in Mediterranean mountains during the 21st century.

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  • 1Biodiversity and Global Change Lab, National Museum of Natural Science, Madrid, Spain.


Mediterranean mountain biomes are considered endangered due to climate change that affects directly or indirectly different key features (biodiversity, snow cover, glaciers, run-off processes, and water availability). Here, we provide an assessment of temperature, precipitation, and spring precipitation changes in Mediterranean mountains under different emission scenarios (Special Report on Emission Scenarios) and Atmosphere-Ocean-Coupled General Circulation Models for two periods: 2055 (2040-2069 period) and 2085 (2070-2099). Finally, the future climate trends projected for Mediterranean mountains are compared with those trends projected for non-Mediterranean European mountain ranges. The range of projected warming varies between +1.4 degrees C and 5.1 degrees C for 2055 (+1.6 degrees C and +8.3 degrees C for 2085). Climate models also project a reduction of precipitation, mainly during spring (-17% under Alfi and -4.8% under B1 for 2085). On the contrary, non-Mediterranean European mountains will not experience a reduction of annual and spring precipitation. Implications of predicted climate change for both human and physical features are coupled in an integrated framework to gain a broad perspective on future trends and their consequences.

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