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 average daily surface water temperature in the Mediterranean along with the annual evolution of recent years. The year 2003 is also included, which is notable as a major heatwave affected the entire Mediterranean basin. As can be seen, marine heatwaves have also affected our sea in recent years. We can compare the average daily temperature with historical temperature records between 1982 and 2019 (in black). We consider water temperature to be exceptionally high when, compared to historical records, 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.