water temperature and marine heat waves

To study marine heat waves in the Mediterranean Sea, we compare the sea surface temperature with historical records to detect rapid and relevant changes in the time series. This knowledge is essential in the decision-making processes about measures aimed at protecting and preserving both marine ecosystems and the health and well-being of the people who depend on this sea.

This image shows the sea surface temperature recorded yeasterday in Catalonia. The information is updated daily.

Sea surface temperature

Marine heat waves

In general, Marine Heat Waves (MHW) are defined as events with a minimum duration of 5 days where the water temperature is exceptionally high. Marine Heat Waves can be described according to their duration, intensity, trend, or spatial extension.

This graph shows the annual trend of the sea surface temperature in the Mediterranean Sea in 2003 (green), an outstanding year due to a great heat wave affecting the entire Mediterranean basin. Heat waves have also affected our area during the last years (purple). We can compare the daily average temperature to the historical records between 1982 and 2019 (black). Sea temperature is considered to be exceptionally high when it is higher than 90% of the records (gray bands).

Is there currently a marine heat wave event in Catalonia?

This map shows in color the areas where there a marine heat wave event is taking place. The areas in white indicate that the sea temperature is currently within usual values. The information is updated daily.