The Mediterranean Sea is a prominent climate-change hot spot, with many socioeconomically vital coastal areas being the most vulnerable targets for maritime safety, diverse met-ocean hazards and marine pollution. Providing an unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution at wide coastal areas, high-frequency radars (HFRs) have been steadily gaining recognition as an effective land-based remote sensing technology for continuous monitoring of the surface circulation, increasingly waves and occasionally winds. HFR measurements have boosted the thorough scientific knowledge of coastal processes, also fostering a broad range of applications, which has promoted their integration in coastal ocean observing systems worldwide, with more than half of the European sites located in the Mediterranean coastal areas. In this work, we present a review of existing HFR data multidisciplinary science-based applications in the Mediterranean Sea, primarily focused on meeting end-user and science-driven requirements, addressing regional challenges in three main topics: (i) maritime safety, (ii) extreme hazards and (iii) environmental transport process. Additionally, the HFR observing and monitoring regional capabilities in the Mediterranean coastal areas required to underpin the underlying science and the further development of applications are also analyzed. The outcome of this assessment has allowed us to provide a set of recommendations for future improvement prospects to maximize the contribution to extending science-based HFR products into societally relevant downstream services to support blue growth in the Mediterranean coastal areas, helping to meet the UN's Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and the EU's Green Deal goals.
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