Extreme temperature days and their potential impacts on southern Europe
Abstract. Extreme-temperature events have consequences for human health and mortality, forest disturbance patterns, agricultural productivity, and the economic repercussions of these consequences combined. To gain insight into whether extreme-temperature events are changing in light of global climate dynamics, the annual numbers of high-temperature days (those with temperatures higher than 20, 22.5, and 25 °C at 850 hPa) were analyzed across southern Europe from the years 1978 to 2012. A significant increase in the frequency of these days was found in many areas over the time period analyzed, and patterns in the spatial distribution of these changes were identified. We discuss the potential consequences of the increases in high-temperature days with regards to forest fire risk, human health, agriculture, energy demands, and some potential economic repercussions.