SPAIN had the hottest year on record last year according to a report published today(May 14) by the state meteorological agency, Aemet.
The news comes as an unseasonal heatwave is set to hit the country this weekend and just a day after a climate change and energy bill was passed by Congress.
The Aemet report says that last year’s average temperature of 14.8 degrees was 1.7 degrees higher than the average between 1850 and 1900.
Crucially, a large part of the rise has taken place over the last 60 years with a 1.3 degree increase due to global warming.
Seven of the 10 hottest-ever years in Spain occurred in the last decade, according to the report,
Aemet said that if things were allowed to continue unchecked, then temperatures would be 5 degrees above the pre-industrial era of the late 19th century by the end of this century.
Environment secretary, Hugo Moran, said: “There can be no public health whatsoever if we do not have a healthy environment.”
Alongside three heatwaves, Spain was struck by many extreme weather outbreaks in 2020 including including Storm Gloria, which killed 13 dead and led to record rainfalls on the east coast.
“Extreme meteorological events of this type cost our country around 700 lives and €900 million a year,” said Hugo Moran.
Greenhouse gas levels also logged record highs in 2020, despite a temporary reduction caused by lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic.