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Climate Detectives (investigation category)

Team: Geoscientists

Greece 12 years old, 13 years old, 14 years old   2, 8, 5 / 3

Project title:

Climate crisis: The flooding of Thessaly

Research question

To which phenomena the floods of Thessaly in September 2023 are due. Which meteorological and climatic phenomena are involved. In what way the climate crisis affects.

Identify the local environmental/climate problem you want to investigate

The floods in Thessaly that took place from 4/9 to 12/9 were really deadly. The Mediterranean and Greece, as shown in the summer of 2023 by the fires and floods that occurred, are among the regions that will experience the climate crisis, or “the flattening of the climate curve” as scientists describe it, much more intensely. This phenomenon is the key climate issue of concern in our research.
The phenomena described above can be linked to extremes in EMY precipitation data, to increased temperatures in the central Mediterranean, from a study of satellite imagery, and finally to the El Niñio phenomenon, for which scientists define an increased expression in the current year.

Project topic

Climate change

Describe how you plan to investigate the problem identified and which data you plan to analyse.

Initially, an attempt will be made to record the evolution of the Thessaly flooding phenomenon, per day, using the Sentinel 1 satellite images of the NDWI index. Then, the rainfall data provided by EMY (meteo.gr) will be studied and this year’s data will be compared with those of the last years.
An attempt will be made to correlate the phenomenon of heavy precipitation in Thessaly with the meteorological observations of those days and the phenomenon of the Z-shaped depression observed in the western Mediterranean. For the same region, data from the Sentinel 3 satellite, SISTR, will be studied to determine whether in the months preceding the phenomenon, i.e. the summer of 2023, the central Mediterranean was warmer. These data will also be compared with literature reports.
Finally, it will be checked if there is a relationship between the Thessaly flooding phenomenon and the El Niñio phenomenon, which is strongly experienced this year. The check will be based on literature references.

Your feedback

Expert feedback Phase 1 - 2023-2024
Is the suggested problem a problem that the students can actually investigate? Is it feasible, realistic? Please explain why or why not. Is the relation with climate/local environment worked out? Where necessary indicate the wider scientific context to which the identified problem belongs.