Throughout the history of the Earth there has been a climate change due to various natural factors, with interglacial periods and periods of greater global warming. However, since the industrial revolution, this change has accelerated at an inordinate rate. This change has various consequences for ecosystems, among other things.
But it is convenient to know what are the main consequences of climate change in Spain and, therefore, in this AgroCorrn article we review them all.
- Facts about climate change
- Sea level rises and desertification
- Alteration of ecosystems and the distribution of species in Spain
- More invasive species in Spain due to climate change
Facts about climate change
Since the industrial revolution that took place in the 20th century, the planet’s temperature has increased by 0.6ºC and a rise of 10-12 centimeters in sea level. The consequences of this increase are an increased risk of fires, droughts, deterioration of crops and floods. Phenomena that will be evident in the coming years.
According to the AEMET (State Meteorological Agency), in Spain the rainfall figures have been alarming during the last year, as there has been a 15% decrease in rainfall levels (from 648 mm on average to 551 mm during 2016-2017). To this we add the fact that the month of August 2018 has been the sixth warmest of the 21st century. The most palpable consequence of these problems is drought . In the northwest of the peninsula, the hydrographic basins have dropped to values never seen before (less than 40% of their capacity) and others that usually suffer from greater water stress, such as the Segura or Júcar river basins, are around 10% of his capacity.
Sea level rises and desertification
One of the first consequences of climate change in Spain that must be taken into account are the rise in sea level and desertification.
During the last year, a team of scientists from the University of Southampton (United Kingdom) has published an article in which they say that there is a possibility that the global sea level will rise three meters between now and 2100. If this were the case, a large part of the city of Barcelona, A Coruña, Santander or Malaga would be flooded by the sea. In addition to this, the Doñana park would be lost, along with most of the Rías Baixas or the Ebro delta. Likewise, this would happen globally, so other cities would be really affected to the point of disappearing completely. Here you can learn more about Cities that will disappear under the waters due to the global thaw .
The Ministry of the Environment affirms that up to 74% of the soil in Spain is in the process of desertification and in 50 years, 20% of which is now safe, will also be in danger. Communities such as Andalusia, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura or a large part of the Levant already have a large amount of soils susceptible to degradation. This phenomenon causes significant damage to the agricultural activities that take place there and to the ecosystems
This loss of fertile soil is already an irreversible process that negatively affects all species (including humans). However, the desertification of the territory also has indirect consequences such as the exodus to the big cities due to the crisis in traditional agriculture. In turn, this exodus means that natural resources in areas close to large cities are overexploited , feeding back the climate change process.
Alteration of ecosystems and the distribution of species in Spain
Another of the consequences of climate change in Spain that has been noticeable for some years now is the great alteration suffered by most ecosystems and, consequently, the changes that have occurred in the distribution of species in Spain.
Experts say that increasing water temperatures, changing ocean currents, and ocean acidification are changing the distribution of species . Both in the Cantabrian Sea and in the Atlantic Ocean, fish are increasingly distributed to the north and in the coming years this phenomenon will become more and more frequent.
Furthermore, with climate change, terrestrial aquatic ecosystems, such as lakes, ponds and rivers, have gone from being permanent to becoming seasonal. The biodiversity of lakes, coastal wetlands and mountain streams is beginning to fluctuate seasonally. In marine aquatic ecosystems, temperatures and CO2 concentrations have increased , leading to changes in the wind regime, outcrops and evaporation of water.
Learn more about the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems of Spain with this other AgroCorrn article.
More invasive species in Spain due to climate change
Due to the new weather conditions , a greater number of invasive species have been observed in Spain for a long time . The consequences of this increase in invasive species is the decrease in native biodiversity .
An example is that of the zebra mussel, native to the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, which has already colonized the Ebro and the Segura, Guadalquivir and Júcar basins. This mussel causes a change in the physical-chemical characteristics of the water and affects endemic flora and fauna.
Other examples are the tiger mosquito, from Southeast Asia, which has already colonized Catalonia and the Valencian Community, or the proliferation of large schools of jellyfish on the Spanish coasts during the summer.
Here you can learn more about invasive species in Spain and their consequences .
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