June 21, 2024

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The climate crisis is robbing us of spring

The climate crisis is robbing us of spring

Between Friday and Sunday, Friday and Sunday, Spain will experience what may be the hottest May bout in the past 20 years. All of this happens while the peninsula’s sweltering temperatures arrive early and summer lasts about 30 days in just over 50 years. The climate crisis robs us of spring.

It may be a full spring month, but higher records are seen, in many cases typical of June or July.

Temperatures rose throughout the week on the peninsula. It is expected that today Friday – and especially tomorrow, the peak of this episode – 4 degrees Celsius will be reached in the Guadalquivir Valley and locally it may exceed 42 degrees Celsius in parts of Jaén. The northern plateau, the south and the center of the peninsula or the Ebro Valley will generally exceed 35 °C.

A mass of very hot and dry air, of African origin, which will intensify today and especially during the weekend, along with stable weather conditions, cause this gradual and noticeable rise in temperatures. “We are experiencing exceptionally high summer values ​​for these dates,” admits Aemet spokesmen.

All of this is happening when new evidence of summer progressing and lengthening is repeated in Spain, to the detriment of spring in particular.


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“We can confirm that in the country as a whole, summer has advanced between three and four weeks in the past fifty to sixty years. If we add to that the delay in September and October, we can speak of more than 30 extra days in the summer compared to, say, 1970” , as indicated by vanguard Roberto Granda, meteorologist from the time is which analyzed data from more than 100 weather stations taking into account the dates when the 30-degree threshold was exceeded (with an analysis period ranging from 1971/1980 to 2021).

The areas in which this direction can be appreciated are located in the interior. For example, in Molina de Aragon (in Guadalajara) five weeks were introduced; But it is also appreciated in cities like Burgos, Salamanca or Cuenca

Experts link the heat cycle to human-caused global warming

The same happens in Seville, Córdoba or Valencia, while at the Fabra Observatory in Barcelona, ​​with the Celsius series (1920-2021), summer came about three weeks and ended (the date of the last day at 30°C) four weeks late; That is, in Barcelona, ​​since 1920, I gained about seven weeks of summer.

This report also indicates that the extreme heat also arrived earlier. For example, at the Seville airport terminal, the first day was served with a temperature of 35 ° C for about 15 days, and now it usually happens at the end of May. And the last day with a temperature of 35 degrees Celsius was about 20 days late.


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Studies by Cesar Rodríguez Ballesteros, a climate scientist at Aemet confirm, “We are facing increasingly longer summers in Spain, with their arrival being brought forward and their completion delayed, although to a lesser extent the latter.” The average progression (measured from records at 44 weather stations) is 6.76 days every 10 years, while the average delay is 2.74 days per decade, which means an increase in the mean summer length of 9.50 days every 10 years. In this case, the data were studied between May 1 and October 31 for the years 1971 to 2018.

Meanwhile, today’s Aemet maintains moderate risk warnings due to high temperatures (orange alert) in large areas of Seville, Cordoba or Jaén, while the yellow alert covers areas extending through Toledo, Madrid, Extremadura and the rest of the Andalusian province. The maximum temperatures will be between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius above the climatic average and the minimums will be between 5 and 10 degrees Celsius above normal.

“This is what we see is what we can expect with climate change. The higher the degree of global warming, the more frequent and intense this type of phenomenon will be,” says Francisco Dublas-Reyes, one of the coordinators of the latest global assessment of climate change prepared by the Intergovernmental Group on Climate Change. Climate at the United Nations (IPCC), and director of the Barcelona Geosciences Department for Supercomputing.


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A boy bathes as he waits to fetch water from a municipal water tanker on a hot summer day in New Delhi, India, May 1, 2022. REUTERS/Anushri Fadnavis

For Doblas-Reyes, this heat episode is a good time to explain what this phenomenon means. “It is not simply that it will be hotter, but that it will manifest unevenly and through warm periods also in the spring, outside the season when high temperatures are typical in June or July,” he says.

Climate scientists stress that the event in May is in line with what is expected in an increasingly warm global climate. Even without conducting studies to measure the degree to which this event is attributable to human activities, “it can be said that this event will be intensified by the increased availability of heat in the air resulting from the emission of greenhouse gases mainly from burning fossil fuels,” explains Manuela Brunet, a professor in the University of Geography’s Department of Geography. Rovera i Virgil.

In the Catalan capital, with data from 1920, about seven weeks of summer have been gained

Brunet asserts that everything leads one to believe that it would be an “exceptional” heat ring, due to the unusual nature of the moment and especially due to the intensity of the forecast values. He stresses that “scientific assessments of human climate change indicate that global warming of the atmosphere is already leading to the intensification of meteorological, climatic and hydrological extremes, which are becoming more frequent and particularly more severe and severe.”

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