coastal zone, tourism, road transportation and recreation are major uses. According to IPCC (2007) and Lionello et al. (2010), the study area is a climate change hotspot, especially vulnerable to the increased sea surface temperature (SST) caused by greenhouse gas emissions. Parada & Canton (1998) found that 1993 satellite thermal this website images of the Alboran Sea indicated that the western Alboran anticyclonic gyre was an important feature; they also found seasonal SST variation over the Alboran Sea. Marullo et al. (1999) stated that the eastern Mediterranean SST is defined by two extreme distribution patterns, i.e. winter (zonal) and summer (meridional) patterns, with a transition period between them. They also identified permanent SST features in the eastern Mediterranean Sea (e.g. the Cretan Cyclone and Pelops Anticyclone). Their analysis was based on advanced very-high-resolution radiometer (AVHRR) weekly data with a spatial resolution of 18 km. Leitz (1999) demonstrated that the Ionian Sea is characterised by strong seasonal variability with a mesoscale structure. Skliris et al. (2011) stated that the Aegean SST clearly increased southwards, partly check details due to exchange with cold Black Sea water
through the Dardanelles Strait and with warm Levantine water through the Cretan Arc Straits. D’Ortenzio et al. (2000) analysed AVHRR SST data from 1985 to 1996 and found no significant trend in the Mediterranean SST. Based on in situ observations, Lelieveld et al. (2002) claimed that the Mediterranean SST had cooled significantly from 1970 to 1980 and then warmed significantly (i.e. 0.03°C yr− 1) up to 2000. On the basis of satellite observations from 1985 to 2006, Nykjaer (2009) claimed that the Mediterranean SST had warmed by a significant 0.03 and 0.05 °C yr− 1 in the western and eastern Mediterranean sub-basins, respectively, most markedly in June and in the Tyrrhenian sub-basin. Skliris et
al. (2011) demonstrated during that the Aegean SST displayed a general annual warming trend of 0.045 °C yr− 1 over the 1985-2008 period, especially in summer (0.045 °C yr− 1). Skliris et al. (2012) stated that the whole Mediterranean Sea displayed a significant warming trend of 0.037°C yr− 1 from 1985 to 2008, especially in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. However, the warming trend in the Black Sea was much more marked: Ginzburg et al. (2004) noted significant SST warming (i.e. 0.09 °C yr− 1) there from 1980 to 2000, as indicated by night-time satellite observations, while satellite SST data indicated significant warming (0.06 °C yr− 1) from 1982 to 2002 (Belkin 2009). Tsimplis & Rixen (2002), Luterbacher et al. (2004) and Skliris et al. (2011) demonstrated that the eastern Mediterranean SST is negatively correlated with the North Atlantic Oscillation Index (NAOI), which potentially affects water transport over the western Mediterranean Sea (Rixen et al. 2005). In addition, Skliris et al.