Western Mediterranean precipitation over the last 300 years from instrumental observations

D. Camuffo, C. Bertolin, N. Diodato, C. Cocheo, M. Barriendos, F. Dominguez-Castro, E. Garnier, M. J. Alcoforado, M. F. Nunes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper reports the results of the analysis of the 14 longest precipitation instrumental series, covering the last 300 years, that have been recovered in six subareas of the Western Mediterranean basin, i. e., Portugal, Northern and Southern Spain, Southern France, Northern and Southern Italy. This study extends back by one century our knowledge about the instrumental precipitation over the Western Mediterranean, and by two centuries in some specific subareas. All the time series show repeated swings. No specific trends have been found over the whole period, except in a few cases, but with modest time changes and sometimes having opposite tendency. The same can be said for the most recent decades although with some more marked departures from the average. The correlation between the various Mediterranean subareas is generally not significant, or almost uncorrelated. The Wavelet Spectral Analysis applied to the precipitation identifies only a minor 56-year cycle in autumn, i. e., the same return period that has been found in literature for the Sea Surface Temperature over North Atlantic. A comparison with a gridded dataset reconstruction based on mixed multiproxy and instrumental observations, shows that the grid reconstruction is in good agreement with the observed data for the period after 1900, less for the previous period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-101
Number of pages17
JournalClimatic Change
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Atmospheric Science


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