Israel is warming twice as fast as the global average, says head of climate services

A winter day in Ashdod, November
A winter day in Ashdod, NovemberCredit: Ilan Assayag

Lee Yaron Dec. 2, 2021

Temperatures in the past November made it one of the four hottest Novembers ever recorded in Israel, data by Israel Meteorological Service shows. 

The data shows that not only are temperatures in Israel rising, but the country is experiencing less precipitation at this time of year than usual. These trends are expected to worsen due to climate change.

The report states that Israel is warming twice as fast as the global average. The rate of warming in Israel has also tripled in recent decades, and between 1990 and 2020, the country heated to an average of 1.7 degrees Celsius (35 degrees Fahrenheit).

Compared to average temperatures, November’s temperatures throughout the country were two to three degrees Celsius (35.6- 37.4 degrees Fahrenheit) higher during the day, and one to 2.5 degrees Celsius higher at night in areas away from the coast, with rainfall also being below average.

The service’s report on November 2021 states that in ten of the last 12 years, a number of hot Novembers particularly stand out: 2010, 2013, 2019 and 2021. The service began recording temperatures in Israel in 1950.

The past month’s trend is also apparent in other metrics, such as the number of days in the month with high temperatures. According to the report, the number of days with a maximum temperature over 28 degrees Celsius (82.4 Fahrenheit) has risen over the last decade in Beit Dagan – where the Meteorological Service is headquartered, just east of Tel Aviv. 

The rise in the number of hot days in November “corresponds, of course, with the gradual warming trend that we know over recent decades, and with the climate forecasts,” Nir Stav, the director of the Meteorological Service, told Haaretz.

However, since the amount of rainfall during November has fluctuated over the years, it is still too early to identify a clear trend of reduced precipitation. Still, it seems that over the past few decades Israel has experienced fewer days of rain during November.

Stav estimates that these trends will continue in coming years, and “it is reasonable to assume that the closer we get to the middle of this century their frequency will increase.”