The Spanish Meteorological Agency (AEMET) and the Ministry of Environment have presented future projections of climate change effects in Spain. The forecasts show a general tendency for an increase in temperatures as well as a tendency for less rain.
With temperatures set to rise between 3 and 6ºC, “Madrid would become like Sevilla and Sevilla like the Desert in Arizona (USA)” said the President of AEMET, Ricardo García Herrera.
As a result of climate change, Spain will have to endure an increase of three to six degrees higher maximum temperatures by 2071. The increase in temperatures are made in reference to values from the period of 1961-1990.
AEMET has updated regionalized projections using the latest data from global models of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) adopted in Valencia in 2007. This update is based on Ensembles, a large European research project to create climate models that go into a detail or resolution of 25 km compared with 200 kilometers of global climate models.
“The models help to identify risks and understand simple variables,” says Teresa Ribera, Secretary of State for Climate Change. The regional climate scenarios are one of the “necessary” points to assess the impacts, vulnerability, and future needs of adaptation to climate change.
A Threat to Beach Tourism?
The rising temperatures may become the main threat to tourism in Spain, a sector that contributes approx. 11 per cent to the country’s GDP. With rising temperatures, regularly exceeding 40ºC in some areas, tourism will shift towards the north with many northern Europeans preferring to stay in their own country.
Combined with the UN climate panel’s forecast of rising sea levels of between 18-59cm by 2100 (a rate of 2.5mm per year) around 30-40 per cent of Spanish beaches could be wiped out. Such a significant loss of beaches will take a heavy toll on one of Spain’s most important industries.
The findings of the research as well as graphs can be found on the website of AEMET.