28 Oct, 2016 @ 10:53
1 min read

Southern Spain will turn into a desert if global warming continues, experts warn

mediterranean sea e

climate change morocco desertSOUTHERN Spain will turn into a desert by the end of the century if global warming is not dealt with, a new study suggests.

The study used historical data and computer models to predict the likely impact of climate change in the Mediterranean.

It based its research on the targets for limiting global warming that were agreed to by 195 countries during the Paris summit last year.

“The Paris Agreement says it’s necessary to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), if possible 1.5 degrees,” said Joel Guiot, a researcher at the National Center of Scientific Research in France who co-wrote the study.

“That doesn’t seem much to people, but we wanted to see what the difference would be on a sensitive region like the Mediterranean.”


The study suggest that even if global warming is limited to 2 degrees, deserts would expand in Spain, North Africa and the Near East, while vegetation in the Mediterranean would undergo a severe change from the coasts to the mountains.

Prolonged periods of drought caused by climate change would also spark mass migration of peoples.

The study did not factor in human activity in the Mediterranean, including intensive agriculture and tree clearance.

“If anything, human action will exacerbate what the study projects, and it could turn out to be too optimistic,” Guiot said.

The Paris climate agreement will come into force next week.


Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

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  1. Other scientists claim that due to an increased percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere, which is one of the most important substances for plant life, the earth has become 10-14% greener during the last decades. The real problem is that Southern Spain does not control its water management correctly.

    • “Other scientists” are talking nonsense. It’s the carbon dioxide that is chiefly responsible for the warming. So any extra growth is nullified by the rise in temperature. While these “experts” are dying of thirst, they will continue to deny the effects of climate change. Even proper management of water could only delay the inevitable nightmare to come. The solutions stare us in the face, but of course, greed and selfishness will prevent mankind from taking the necessary (and painful) steps.
      A world such as illustrated in “Dune” awaits us. At best.

  2. It is’nt only southern Spain that will become desert. This topic was raised in the FT over 15 years ago. It is predicted that all of southern Europe/North Africa will become uninhabitable and still the Spanish are using up water from aquifiers that were created hundreds of thousands of years ago in Murcia and Andalucia.

    I say s/Europe but that desertification will extend right up through France as far as Calais. Already the champagne makers have been buying up south facing chalky hill farmland in Kent,Sussex and Hampshire.

    So just where are the 250 million and rising population (Catholic and Muslim) going to go, we are not talking hundreds of years in the future, the young now will have to deal with this problem before they are pensioners.

    • Good points there, and of course one thing that is hardly ever mentioned in the media is that most wars and population displacements are actually the result of water loss. Those people will eventually head north too. In Spain, illegal irrigation and excessive fruit growing has destroyed local water supplies, whilst the farmers drive around in Porsches.

  3. the real problem in southern spain, southern europe if you want, are those rusty and leaky british nuclear subs in gibraltar.
    not to mention their 3 floating filling stations.

    Bay of Gibraltar is ‘disaster waiting to happen’

  4. Another theory predicts that the Gulf stream will stop when the Global Warming melts too much of the Greenland ice. This ice brings too much freshwater into the Northern Atlantic which slows down the pace of the gulf stream.
    If the gulf stream stops then a new ice age comes over Europe, and southern Spain will offer a climate that is found in southern Norway today.
    Conclusion: Nobody really knows the impact of climate change to southern Spain. The possible range varies between “Dune” and “the Day after Tomorrow”.

  5. So, which country is going to take 250 million + people – ah, I know big mouth Merkel, there you are problem sorted.

    This article in the FT predicated that the Gulf Stream Drift would end and that the climate in Scotland would change dramatically – very dry hot summers and very cold snowy winters. It still amazes me that in Scotland they build houses the same as in southern England.

    It’s worth mentioning that some one on this forum thinks that population control is a silly idea, it’s not the idea that is silly is it?

    • The IDEA is perfectly sound Stuart, it’s the political/social mechanism for achieving it that is very much in doubt. The only place coercion has been tried – China – has led to a massive imbalance in the sexes due to accompanying technology that allows parents to know a child’s gender in advance, thus causing a majority of female babies to be aborted.
      China is not gaining from this, quite the reverse.
      Unfortunately, the only form of birth control that never fails, is the old-fashioned kind. War. At least that is more efficient, in that it bumps off the most prolific breeders – men. Would have thought that could appeal to your violent nature though.

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