BY Livia Cockerell

WITH the soaring temperatures that have hit Spain in recent months, it’s hard to believe that summer only officially started on June 21. 

Recent Aemet studies show that, according to the average temperatures, the summer season starts between 20 and 40 days earlier than it did 50 years ago.

Last year, temperatures in Spain reached an all-time record of 47.3 degrees in the city of Montoro in the province of Cordoba. 

This year, summer has only just begun and 2022 has already experienced record-breaking temperatures with Spain’s warmest May in 58 years.

Climate change induced heat waves from both the north and south poles are believed to have particularly increased global temperatures this year with India, Pakistan, the UK and US being amongst the countries that have experienced unusually high temperatures. 

Vikki Thompson, climate scientist from the University of Bristol Cabot Institute stated that “Climate change is making heatwaves hotter and last longer around the world.”

Spain: Heat Wave Hits 46ºc
A street thermometer showing 42º celsius in Seville. (Photo by Ángel García/Pacific Press)

Undeniably, man-made carbon emissions have impacted global temperatures and have caused further environmental and economic consequences. 

Increasing temperatures have made Spain more vulnerable to forest fires and have also harmed the seasonal pattern of crops, thus affecting food production services. 

Health warnings have also been issued to the public due to the strain that the heat can cause to the human body.

However, many struggling with the heat are finding themselves between a rock and a hard place. 

If you are fortunate enough to have access to air-conditioning, it seems like the logical solution to cope with these temperatures. But this is a double-edged sword. 

Air-conditioning units rely on the burning of fossil fuels to produce the high levels of energy required for them to operate. 

Associate professor from Oxford University, Radhika Khosla, stressed this issue: “The global community must commit to sustainable cooling, or risk locking the world into a deadly feedback loop, where demand for cooling energy drives further greenhouse gas emissions and results in even more global warming.”

Subsequently, there is a need for countries with ever-increasing Mediterranean climates to commit to more sustainable cooling techniques, from painting the roofs of buildings white to reflect the heat, to installing geothermal cooling systems.

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