TEMPERATURES of up to 50C, extreme drought and sleepless tropical nights.
These are just a few of the dramatic changes that could be heading to Spain within the next 30 years if not enough is done to tackle climate change.
According to a study by eltiempo.es, if global warming is not limited to an increase of 1.5C, there could be serious consequences for parts of Spain, particularly in the south.
In its prediction, it forecasts the summers by 2050 will be ‘immersed in a heat wave’, with the mercury ‘easily’ reaching 42C in Madrid, 44C in Bilbao, 45C in Valencia and 49C in Sevilla and Cordoba.
Heatwaves will also last for much longer, the study predicts, reaching 11 to 13 days in the likes of Madrid, Barcelona and the Balearics, and even 20 days on the Mediterranean coast.
Since 1975 there have been 57 heatwaves in Spain and the trend is for them to increase both in intensity and frequency.
The heat will also worsen at night, especially in built up cities, meaning tropical nights will become ‘very common.’
The average summer temperatures at night by 2050 compared to now will increase from 16C to 18C in Madrid and by 3C in Zaragoza.
The Mediterranean, which already experiences tropical nights, will see more than 60 per year, while the likes of Sevilla, Cadiz, Ceuta or Melilla will see around 70, with minimums far above 20C.
In Madrid, Zaragoza and Caceres the number of tropical nights will double from 2020 to 2050, while in Castilla y Leon they will triple.
“What we now consider extremely hot nights, from 2050 will be the norm, as they could occur throughout the half of summer,” the study says.
By 2100, it forecasts Madrid will have 57 tropical nights; Barcelona 61 and the Mediterranean coast between 70 and 75.
In Andalucia, ‘practically every summer night will be tropical with minimums above 20ºC.’
Meanwhile, by 2050, there will be large regions, particularly in the south, where not one drop of rain will fall in more than 60 days.
This will cause extended periods of drought that will lead the desert area of the country to grow from 4.4% to 6% by 2050, and potentially even further.
The study also warns that in the Mediterranean there will be less rain but it will be much more torrential and intense, causing greater risks of flossing and damage.