July 16, 2021 - Heat Wave over the Aegean Sea

Aegean Sea

The Aegean Sea and surrounding countryside was sizzling during an extended heatwave in mid-July 2021. On July 14, the day the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this true-color image, temperatures in Athens, Greece spiked at 93˚F (34˚C). That’s 4.2˚F (2.5˚C) higher than average. But that was a relatively mild day. According to news sources, temperatures topped 109˚F (43˚C) in parts of Greece on July 1. And that occurred after several weeks of soaring temperatures baked the region.

On July 6, members of the Poseidon System, which monitors sea temperatures, reported a marine heat wave also struck the Aegean Sea in June 2021. They stated, “The strong atmospheric heatwave that took place over Greece during the last third of June 2021 was accompanied by a significant warming of the Aegean Sea, with sea surface temperature (SST) exceeding 28 degrees celsius.” That is equivalent to 82.4˚F. The marine heat wave was strongest in the north and central Aegean. Marine heat waves can have severe impacts in marine biology, including habitat loss, death of some species, and massive population shifts. They also may impact fisheries and aquaculture, which affects the socioeconomic welfare of people.

The heatwave continues through mid-July. According to Accuweather, the temperature in Athens on July 16 is predicted to hit 98˚F (36.7˚C). The city continues under Yellow Warning for Extreme High Temperatures.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 7/14/2021
Resolutions: 1km (573.4 KB), 500m (1.3 MB), 250m (897 KB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC