Summer heat waves over western Turkey between 1965 and 2006

Unal Y., TAN E., Menteş Ş. S.

THEORETICAL AND APPLIED CLIMATOLOGY, vol.112, pp.339-350, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 112
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00704-012-0704-0
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.339-350
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Global warming is one of the greatest environmental, economic, and social threats in the world. There are many assessments to estimate climate variability over many regions. A change in the Earth's surface temperature leads to increase in extreme temperature events, which are harmful to the ecosystem, and moreover, they create danger on human health. In this study, we have selected the western part of Turkey as the study area, since climate change projections for Turkey point out that the highest temperature change can be expected on this region during summer, and the Turkish population is very dense here to be affected by extreme events. We have used apparent temperatures to define the heat waves which we have determined their frequencies for the summer months (June-August) of 1965-2006. Since the regional comparisons of station results are intended, we selected the 90th percentile value for each station as a threshold value to be used in the delineation of heat waves. Then, the number of heat waves is determined by imposing the constraint that apparent temperatures stay above the threshold value at least for three consecutive days. Then, the changes in the number of hot days and heat waves and also their durations are analyzed by using the linear least square method. We have found that the number of hot days, heat waves, and heat wave durations is increased between 1965 and 2006 on the western part of Turkey. Additionally, their rate of change is larger within the last decade and extremes are frequently observed after 1998. Regional distributions show that the tendency of the number of heat wave events increases towards the southern latitudes of the domain. Moreover, we investigated the relationship between the number of hot days and the sea surface temperatures of the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea. Correlation analyses are carried out by the number of hot days and averaged sea surface temperatures on the regions of the western, central, and eastern Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. It is found that the number of hot days of west Turkey is better correlated with the sea surface temperatures averaged over eastern Mediterranean and Black Seas. The number of heat waves is found significantly correlated with the fire occurrences for most of the stations.