Climate change Moldova
The climate of the Republic of Moldova is moderately continental, characterized by relatively mild winters with little snow, long warm summers and low humidity. The average annual air temperatures vary between 8-12⁰C, and amount of precipitations, respectively between 450-900 mm per year (1).
Air temperature changes in Moldova until now
Changes in air temperature have been calculated for two periods: 1887-1980 and 1981-2008. It can be said with high confidence that the mean seasonal (except autumn) and annual temperatures in the last three decades are different from the previous years. The variability of air temperature remains practically the same (2).
Annual air temperature in Moldova has increased during 1887-1980 by 0.035°C per decade, and by about 0.58°C per decade during 1981-2008. The temperature trends in last three decades are statistically significant for summer and annual temperatures (at a 95% confidence level) and for spring (at a 90% level). Further evidence of the acceleration of regional warming can be seen in the fact that seven years among the ten warmest in the history of instrumental observations in Moldova have been in the last two decades (2).
Precipitation changes in Moldova until now
Changes in precipitation have been calculated for two periods: 1887-1980 and 1981-2008. The changes in the precipitation regime are not significant in their quantity; however there is evidence of an increase in their variability in transition seasons (2).
The precipitation picture is more complex. There is a change in the direction of some trends from 1887-1980 to 1981-2008: from a decrease to an increase in spring, and from an increase (about 6 mm per decade) to a decrease in the last thirty years (above 13 mm per decade) in summer. For autumn-winter and annual precipitation the previous slight increase is continuing (2).
Air temperature changes in the 21st century
The table below shows the results of projections of annual mean temperature change with respect to the period 1961-1990 that have been calculated for three time horizons by six General Circulation Models and two emission scenarios (2):
|Time horizon||A2 scenario||B2 scenario|
Moldova expects maximal warming in winter and transition seasons. By the 2080s, the baseline negative winter
mean temperatures (-2.1°C) could increase to up to +2-4°C; the spring and autumn mean temperatures could increase by about 40-50%. Minimal relative warming is expected in the summer months: by 9-12% in the beginning and by about a third by the end of the century (2). On the whole, Moldova will face warmer and wetter winters but hotter and drier summers and autumns. To use an analogy, Moldova can expect winters like in England and summers like in Greece or Spain (2).
According to the model results the number of days typical of the winter season will decrease in the central part of the country by 39 - 87 days (depending on the model used) by 2070 and by 85 days – under all the applied models - by 2100, as compared to the climate during the reference period (1961-1990) (1). The days typical of the winter period will disappear in the central and southern part of the Republic of Moldova by 2100. In the north the number of the days typical for the winter period will decrease at least by half and reach 50-52 days as compared to the 105 days registered for the climate during the reference period (1961-1990). The resultant effect will be a higher number of the days typical of autumn, spring and summer. Thus, summer will be 25-40 days longer in the central and southern part of the Republic of Moldova and at least 35-53 days longer in the north (1).
It has been demonstrated that the periods with the average daily temperatures above 5⁰C, 10⁰C and 15⁰C would also become significantly longer (1). The frequency of days with temperatures above 30°C in Moldova for the period 2071–2100 may reach 60 to 90 days a year, compared to 10 to 30 before the 1980s, depending on the climate model used (2). Night summer temperatures are also projected to increase considerably (2). By the
2080s the 99% quintile of mean summer Tmax in Chişinău is likely to reach 35°C, which is 7°C more than the same quintile in 1961-1990 (2).
Precipitation changes in the 21st century
The table below shows the results of projections of annual precipitation change with respect to the period 1961-1990 that have been calculated for three time horizons by six General Circulation Models and two emission scenarios (2):
|Time horizon||A2 scenario||B2 scenario|
According to these projections a continuous annual decrease of precipitation is expected. Some increase in precipitation is expected in winter and spring time, but the summer and autumn tendencies are mainly negative (20-30% decrease by the 2080s) (2).
Other studies show different results, however. The projected precipitation levels fluctuate depending on the season as well as the particular climate model applied to make the forecast; model results have been reported that show an increase of annual precipitation in 2100 (by 48.61 and 107.71 mm, respectively) (1). These model results show considerable differences throughout the year: a more pronounced increase during the winter months (December-February) and in spring (March-May) for the model results that indicated an annual precipitation increase. All the applied climate models have yielded the reduced monthly precipitation averages for summer (August) and autumn (September-November) already during 2010-2039 (1).
By 2100 the climate aridization will be felt during the total plant vegetation period (April to October). According to model projections, the aridity will be higher as compared to 1961-1990, and in August those levels can achieve even the values characteristic of the arid climate (1,2).
By 2100 the growing evaporation rates caused by higher temperatures will result in the increase by 12.7–33.3% in soil humidity deficit as compared to the reference period of 1961–1990 (1). Another study reports an evaporation increase of 15-20% in 2010-2039 and practically twice this value by the end of this century compared with 1961-1990 (2). Moldova seems to be moving towards a dryer climate, from insufficiently wet and wet subhumid zones to dry subhumid and semiarid zones (2).
The references below are cited in full in a separate map 'References'. Please click here if you are looking for the full references for Moldova.
- Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (2009)
- UNDP (2009)