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Air temperature and atmospheric precipitation

Last update of indicator 17.12.2021

Indicator definition

The indicator describes the long-term time series trends of selected climate elements, such as average temperature and precipitation, by comparing the values of individual years with the 1961-1990 climatological nominal period.  For the purpose of a representative assessment of the indicators in relation to the altitude of the territory of the Slovak Republic, two monitoring stations are proposed. For lowland areas - station Hurbanovo, for higher areas - station Liptovský Hrádok or Oravská Lesná.

Units

°C, mm, %

Metadata

Related policy documents and targets

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change(1992)

In Slovakia the Convention entered into force on March 21, 1994. The Slovak Republic accepted all the obligations of the Convention, and till now it has been ratified by 183 countries of the world including the EU.
 

Kyoto protocol to UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (1997)

SR adopted a reduction target not to exceed, in the period 2008-2012, the average level of greenhouse gas emissions of 1990 decreased by 8%. In spring 2007, the European Parliament adopted the unilateral commitment to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by at least 20% by 2020, compared to 1990. Further a statement followed that the EU will extend this commitment to a 30% reduction, if it is accepted also by other developed countries of the world, and developing countries with more advanced economies will join them with the commitments adequate to their responsibilities and capabilities.

Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol (2012)

By this addendum it was decided on continuing the protocol, and the second term mandatory eight-year period was laid down (2013-2020). Reduction obligations of the EU and the member states for a second KP term are the same as adopted emission reduction targets by 2020, according to the climate and energy package, i.e. 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 level. A new gas - nitrogen trifluoride NF3 will be added to monitored six greenhouse gases from the first period, which has a very high global warming potential, which implies the multiplication of radiation effect.

Paris Global Climate Convention (2016)
On 4 November 2016, the historically first universal convention on the climate change came into force – the Paris Convention. The Slovak Republic finished its domestic ratification process on 28 September 2016 with the signature of the President of the Republic, Mr Andrej Kiska. The European Union under leading of the Slovak presidency of the Council of the EU filed the ratification documents in the UN headquarters in New York on 5 October 2016, whereby the double quorum for ratification was achieved, and so the European Union became the initiator of the Paris Convention.
The target of the Paris Convention is to limit the growth of global temperature by the end of the century to maximally 2 °C and, if possible, considerably below this value, down to 1.5 °C.
The Paris Convention is ground-breaking in particular in three important factors:

  • For the first time, it brings reduction obligations not only for developed countries, but also for all countries that are its contracting parties, while each country defines itself in what manner and in what sectors it will try to decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
  • For the first time, the Paris Convention also deals more consistently with the adaptation and embodies the duty to prepare for consequences of the climate change, monitor and evaluate impacts and build resistance of ecosystems and social and economic systems.
  • The duty to monitor emissions and inform of their quantity also applies to all countries, not only to developed ones.

 

Integrated Climate and Energy Package (2008)

It is crucial, complex and highly ambitious solution for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, for increasing energy efficiency, reducing the consumption of fossil fuels and the promotion of innovative, low-carbon technologies.


The Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth (2010)

- by 2020, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20% compared to 1990 levels, or by 30% under favourable conditions

- the increase of energy efficiency by 20% by 2020

- achieving 20% share of renewable sources in final energy consumption, including a 10% share of biofuels in petrol and diesel by 2020.

Strategy, Principles and Priorities of State Environmental Policy (1993)
A SECTOR - AIR AND OZONE LAYER PROTECTION
• Reducing emissions of basic air pollutants (SO2, NOx, CO, CxHy, particulate emissions), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), persistent organic pollutants (POPs), heavy metals, CO2 and other emissions causing greenhouse effect, to a level complying with international conventions.
• Avoid using fully halogenated hydrocarbons and halons, carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), 1,1,1 - trichloroethane and brominated non- fully halogenated hydrocarbons, reducing the consumption of hydrocarbons and other non-fully halogenated hydrocarbons  and methyl bromide,  application, compliance and control of the production and use of ozone-layer depleting substances.
• Development and implementation of national programs aimed at reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases causing the greenhouse effect increase, not covered by the Montreal Protocol on ozone-layer depleting substances, including minimization of coal combustion and its more rational recovery, as well as the use of gasoline-powered vehicles with three-way catalyst.
• The introduction of smog warning and control systems and a unified emergency system, preventing smog episodes.
• Completion of a comprehensive system of laws on protection of the atmosphere and the ozone layer, harmonized with EU law, which will not allow activities, above the extent permitted, threatening and damaging the environment by the air pollution, depletion of the ozone layer and climate change.
• Broader application of fuels and means of transport, non-polluting the environment (e.g. gas, electricity, unleaded gasoline).
• Completion of comprehensive monitoring and information system of the SR Environment - air.
 
National Strategy of the Slovak Republic Sustainable Development /SD/ (2001)
Strategic goals of SD which are necessary to be achieved within the heading to the long-term priorities are to:
• Reduce the environmental load of the environment
• Mitigate the effects of global climate change, depletion of the ozone layer and natural       disasters
• Improve the quality of the environment in the regions.
 
Policy Statement of the Slovak Republic Government for the period 2012-2016 (2012)
In order to reduce air pollutants, the government shall adopt ancillary instruments for reducing emissions from industry, energy and mobile sources and focus on the use of cars with low emissions.
 
Strategy of SR Adaptation to Adverse Effects of Climate Change (2014)
Strategy objectives of SR adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change:
• To provide objective information on the current state of the adaptation processes in the Slovak Republic;
•To describe its manifestations in the Slovak Republic based on available climate change scenarios;
• To analyse the expected impact of climate change on critical areas / sectors of economic activities;
• To propose appropriate set of proactive adaptation measures and mechanism for their implementation within the framework of sectoral policies, development strategies and action plans at all levels of the process;
• To identify practices in preventing and managing the risks, associated with extreme weather events, in order to minimize the related social and economic costs;
• To promote the development and application of methodologies, models and tools for better assessment of  investment risks, associated with the costs for damage and adaptation at the regional, local level, but also at the individual project level;
• Based on an inventory of the current state-to adopt recommendations for the development of information technology and building of knowledge base for more effective adaptation;
• To identify opportunities associated with the process of adaptation, and create conditions for their practical implementation;
• To propose criteria for selecting and evaluating the investment priorities within the adaptation measures;
• To suggest a system for monitoring, evaluation and review of adaptation measures with respect to the dynamics and uncertainty of future development scenarios of climate change;
• To enable effective interconnection of proactive adaptation measures for funding within the prepared Operational programs for the period 2014 - 2020 and within the new financial instrument LIFE;
• The final goal is to create a fundamental institutional and information infrastructure that would allow to the SR the efficient and cost-effective adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change by 2020.

Key question

What is the observable trend in air temperature and atmospheric precipitation?

Key messages

  • The impact of climate change is most evident in air temperature. The increase of temperature is clearly confirmed. The average annual air temperature for the period 1981-2010 in Hurbanovo was 10.6 °C, an increase of 0.7 °C compared to the period 1951-1980.
  • Compared to 1961-1990, the year 2020 was extremely above-normal in almost all of Slovakia (the only exceptions were the districts of Zlaté Moravce, Veľký Krtíš, Čadca, Ružomberok, Trebišov and Sobrance, where the temperature was “only” strongly above-normal). The highest temperature deviation was recorded in Žihárec with +2.6 °C and in Tatranská Javorina with +2.5 °C.
  • There was a decreasing trend in annual atmospheric precipitation, relative humidity and a decrease in snow cover in almost the whole territory of the Slovak Republic (with a slight increase in the higher mountainous areas).
  • The year 2020 as a whole was above the normal rainfall amount. The annual value of the spatial total of atmospheric precipitation for the whole territory of Slovakia, calculated using the isohyet method, was 886 mm (surplus 124 mm, 116 % compared to the long-term average 1901-2000).
  • On the other hand, local or widespread droughts, caused mainly by long periods of relatively warm weather with low rainfall in some parts of the growing season, were much more frequent than before.
Change since 1990 Change since 2005 Last year-on-year change
emo_sad emo_sad emo_sad
There has been an increase in the negative effects of climate change. The negative effects of climate change continued (significant weather variability, above-average annual temperature, extreme local precipitation). The last year has been very significant in terms of the negative effects of climate change.

Summary assessment

Annual atmospheric precipitation in Slovakia for 2020

 

Source: SHMI

Average annual air temperature in Slovakia for 2020

 

Source: SHMI

Deviations of annual mean air temperature for 2020 from the 1961-1990 normal

Source:SHMI

Detailed assessment

Climate change impacts and adaptation to its adverse effects

Climate change can have impacts on human health, either direct - related to the physiological impacts of heat and cold - or indirect, such as droughts, floods, altered and fluctuating flow regimes in river basins

The climate development is assessed on the basis of trends in the long-term time series (1951 - 2020) of individual climate elements and on the basis of a comparison of the values of individual years with the normal period in climatology 1961 - 1990. Together with the climatic elements, selected hydrological flow characteristics which respond directly to climate trends (i.e. atmospheric precipitation, air temperature and evaporation) are also evaluated. For the purpose of a representative assessment of the indicators in relation to the altitude of the territory of the Slovak Republic, two monitoring stations were selected. For lowland areas it is the meteorological station in Hurbanovo, for higher altitude areas it is the meteorological station in Liptovský Hrádok or Oravská Lesná (for the drought indicator).

 

 Climatic elements

Annual atmospheric precipitation (1951 - 2020)

The year 2020 as a whole was above the normal rainfall amount. The annual value of the spatial total of atmospheric precipitation for the whole territory of Slovakia, calculated using the isohyet method, was 886 mm (surplus 124 mm, 116 % compared to the long-term average 1901-2000). In western Slovakia, the annual value of spatial rainfall was 731 mm (a surplus of 69 mm, 110% compared to the long-term average 1901-2000). In central Slovakia it was 997 mm (surplus 125 mm, 114 % compared to the long-term average 1901-2000) and in eastern Slovakia it was 901 mm (surplus 154 mm, 121 % compared to the long-term average 1901-2000). The highest annual precipitation totals were recorded in the area of the Vysoké Tatry, Nízke Tatry, but also in the area of Kremnické vrchy and Vtáčnik, e.g. Skalnaté Pleso 1629 mm, Tatranská Javorina 1422 mm, Kľak 1376 mm, Zuberec-Zverovka 1363 mm, Kordíky 1358 mm, Luková pod Chopkom 1344 mm, Ždiar-Podspády 1326 mm, while the annual precipitation totals could be even higher at altitudes higher than 2,000 m above the sea level. On the other hand, the lowest values of annual precipitation totals were registered in some places in the south and south-east of Podunajská nížina and in the lower parts of the Ipeľ basin, e.g. Hurbanovo 522 mm, Santovka 523 mm, Mužla 544 mm, Čechy and Pataš 551 mm, Dedina Mládeže 559 mm, Rúbaň 560 mm, Radvaň nad Dunajom 563 mm, Sazdice 567 mm, Salka 570 mm, Jur nad Hronom 572 mm. The balance of atmospheric precipitation in each month of 2020 was negative in January, April, May and November. In contrast, heavy rainfall was recorded in February, late September and October.  Severe thunderstorms began to occur in some cases at the very beginning of the summer and persisted throughout the summer. The precipitation deficit was evident throughout most of the spring.  The resulting precipitation deficit was partly corrected by summer storm downpours and then by autumn rains and precipitation at the beginning of winter.
In 2020, 8 daily precipitation totals of 100 mm or more were recorded in the network of SHMÚ precipitation gauging stations. These occurred on 14.6.2020, 26.6.2020, 17.8.2020 and 25.9.2020, the highest of which was 155 mm and was recorded in Veľké Kosihy (Komárno district) on 17.8.2020.  The lowest of these highest daily precipitation totals of 2020 was registered in Gabčíkovo (Dunajská Streda district), with precipitation of 101 mm was recorded on 14.6.2020. There were 32 daily precipitation totals of 70 mm or more recorded in Slovakia in 2020. Comparatively more daily precipitation totals of 50 mm or more were recorded in Slovakia in 2020. There were 246 totals of 50 mm and more recorded in the network of precipitation measuring stations of the SHMÚ. It was more than normal and at the same time slightly more than the previous year in 2019.
Annual atmospheric precipitation in Hurbanovo for the period 1951 - 2020 represents a statistically insignificant trend, although in the last 10 years there have been 4 cases with higher annual values. Years with significantly low annual atmospheric precipitation include 1967, 1971, 1978, 1982, 1990, 2003, and 2011. In contrast, years rich in annual rainfall include 1957, 1965-1966, 2010 (maximum), 2013-2014 and 2016. The highest percentage of normal was recorded in 2010 (187% , which is 977 mm), the lowest in 1956 (62%, which is 523 mm), and in 2020 the rainfall was 523 mm, which is 99.8% of normal.
The annual atmospheric precipitation in Liptovský Hrádok for the period 1951 - 2020 shows an increasing trend slightly above the threshold of statistical significance (for p=0.05). Years with significantly low annual atmospheric precipitation include 1956, 1968, and 1969, 1971, 1973, 1983. In contrast, years rich in annual precipitation include 1970, 1974, 2004, 2010, 2014, 2016, and 2020. The highest percentage of normal was recorded in 2010 (144% , which is 977 mm), the lowest in 1956 (68%, which is 463 mm), and in 2020 the rainfall was 842 mm, which is 124% of normal.

 

Trends in annual precipitation (1951 - 2020)

Source: SHMI


Average annual air temperature (1951 - 2020)

The year 2020 ended as exceptionally warm in almost the whole territory of Slovakia compared to the values from the period 1961-1990 with deviations of +1.1 °C to +2.6 °C, (or strongly above-normal temperature-wise and in higher mountain positions and in places in central and eastern Slovakia exceptionally above-normal temperature-wise compared to the values from the reference period of 1981-2010), while in the highest mountain positions it was the warmest year ever since at least 1931 (Lomnický štít). Based on the territorial average of the Slovak Republic (9.6 °C), 2020 ended up as the 5th warmest year since at least 1931, with a deviation of +1.9 °C from the 1961-1990 average, or +1.3 °C from 1981-2010, or +0.8 °C from 1991-2020. The highest average annual air temperature was recorded in Žihárec at 12.2 °C, the lowest at Lomnický štít at -1.6 °C (which is also the highest average annual air temperature at this meteorological station). The other 3 warmest years (in terms of annual air temperature) were 2014 (10.15 °C), 2019 (10.07 °C) and 2018 (10.06 °C). The highest temperature deviation from the long-term average values from 1961-1990 was +4.3 °C in Rabča (1981-2010, +3.6 °C in Rabča, Tatranská Javorina and Plaveč nad Poprad, respectively).

Summer, tropical and days of 35°C and above, ice, frost and arctic days, heat and cold waves (1951 - 2020). In 2020 we recorded the first summer day (LD, tmax ≥ 25 °C) in Slovakia on 13.4. In total, there was 124 summer days in Slovakia in 2020. The longest period of consecutive summer days in Slovakia was recorded from 21.6. to 31.8.2020 in the total number of 72. The longest period of consecutive tropical days was observed in Dolné Plachtince and Somotor (11 in the period from 6 August to 19 August 2020).
In 2020 we recorded the first tropical day (TD35, tmax ≥ 35 °C) in Slovakia on 10.7. A total of 7 days with a maximum daily temperature of 35 °C or more occurred in Slovakia in 2020.
The longest period was a 2-day period on 7.8. - 8.8. 2020 and 29.8. - 30.8. 2020.
Since 1951, the annual air temperature in Hurbanovo presents a statistically significant increasing tendency in a linear trend until 2020 (increase of 2.1 °C), while the significantly cold years were 1954 - 1956, 1963, 1965, 1980, 1985, while the significantly warm years were 2000, 2007, 2014 - 2015 and 2018 - 2020. The largest negative difference in the deviation of the mean annual air temperature in Hurbanovo was recorded in 1956 (-1.6 °C compared to the 1961-1990 normal) and the largest positive difference in 2019 (+2.4 °C).
Since 1951, the annual air temperature in Liptovský Hrádok presents a statistically significant increasing tendency in a linear trend until 2020 (increase of 2.2 °C), while the significantly cold years were 1955 - 1956, 1962, 1965, 1978, 1980, 1985. On the contrary, significantly warm years in Liptovský Hrádok included 2000, 2007-2008, 2014-2015 and 2018-2019. The largest negative difference in the deviation of the mean annual air temperature in Liptovský Hrádok was recorded in 1956 (-1.4 °C compared to the 1961-1990 normal) and the largest positive difference in 2014 (+2.9 °C).

 

Trends in annual air temperature (1951 - 2020)

Contact

Ing. Dorota Hericová, SAŽP, dorota.hericova@sazp.sk