Potential Increase in Hazard From Mediterranean Hurricane Activity With Global Warming

Juan J. González-Alemán, Salvatore Pascale, Jesús Gutierrez-Fernandez, Hiroyuki Murakami, Miguel A. Gaertner, Gabriel Andres Vecchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Mediterranean hurricanes (Medicanes) are intense cyclones that acquire tropical characteristics, associated with extreme winds and rainfall, thus posing a serious natural hazard to populated areas along Mediterranean coasts. Understanding how Medicanes will change with global warming remains, however, a challenge, because coarse resolution and/or the lack of atmosphere-ocean coupling limit the reliability of numerical simulations. Here we investigate the Medicanes' response to global warming using a recently developed 25-km global coupled climate model, which features a realistic representation of Medicanes in present climate conditions. It is found that despite a decrease in frequency, Medicanes potentially become more hazardous in the late century, lasting longer and producing stronger winds and rainfall. These changes are associated with a more robust hurricane-like structure and are mainly confined to autumn. Thus, continued anthropogenic warming will increase the risks associated with Medicanes even in an intermediate scenario (Representative Concentration Pathway, RCP4.5), with potential natural and socioeconomic consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1754-1764
Number of pages11
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 16 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


  • Medicanes
  • climate change
  • convection
  • cutoff lows
  • global climate models
  • tropical cyclones


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