Summary Several seasonal and annual climate extreme indices have been calculated and their trends (over 1958 to 2000) analysed to identify possible changes in temperature- and precipitation-related climate extremes over the eastern Mediterranean region. The most significant temperature trends were revealed for summer, where both minimum and maximum temperature extremes show statistically significant warming trends. Increasing trends were also identified for an index of heatwave duration. Negative trends were found for the frequency of cold nights in winter and especially in summer. Precipitation indices highlighted more regional contrasts. The western part of the study region, which comprises the central Mediterranean and is represented by Italian stations, shows significant positive trends towards intense rainfall events and greater amounts of precipitation. In contrast, the eastern half showed negative trends in all precipitation indices indicating drier conditions in recent times. Significant positive trends were revealed for the index of maximum number of consecutive dry days, especially for stations in southern regions, particularly on the islands. Current affiliation: National Observatory of Athens, Athens, Greece.
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