Normally the people here in Andalucía don’t discuss the weather that much. Certainly not as moch as we Dutch do. However the the long lasting period of rain here has changed that a lot. Hardly anyone can agree with recent publications about the the consequences of global warming for Spain. Last year Spain suffered its driest winter in 70 years; by summer 2012 the country was desiccant, its trees tinder; the consequence – a catalogue of forest infernos that rampaged through regions from Catalonia to Andalucía. Malaga suffered what officials described as ‘the worst fires in living memory’ with over 12.000 hectares obliterated.
Barely a month later in September, Andalucía had its worst flood in a decade. Torrential rains and violent storms led to flash deluges of biblical proportions killing ten people. Yet, EU Joint Research Centre research showed that with less than 200mm of fresh water available annually and consumption at least three times this, Spain is facing a serious problem. The European Environment Agency has warned that Spain is highly vulnerable to climate change. It’s already lost 90% of its glaciers, the remaining expected to disappear within decades, leading to further water shortages as rivers depending on ice-melt shrivel up. The Centre for Climate Adaption says the average temperature in Spain is predicted to rise 4°C by 2080 and extreme summers are likely to increase fourfold. Precipitation is projected to decrease 5% in most of Spain – and by a staggering 10% in the southwest by 2040. This combination will result in creeping desertification and water scarcity.
It is indeed hard to believe when one looks at the period that lies behind us that there can ever be a period of water shortage. Looking at the statistics the weather site El Tiempo provides the first 3 months of last year showed a rainfal of 56mm here in Alcalá whereas this year we are already over 325mm, so almost 6 times as much. As mentioned in previous posts the aspargus farmers will be looking to lose probably halve of their harvest this year, after the 40% lower turnover on their olive crops. Poor people.
For more weather info have a look at www.eltiempo.es/alcala-del-valle.html#