April 13, 2010
Spain Temperatures Keep On Rising
According to a study prepared for the environment ministry that was published Tuesday, Spain has warmed at a faster pace than other areas in the northern hemisphere over the past three decades.
The study by the Spanish branch of the Clivar research network found that the country has experienced average temperature increases of 32 degrees Fahrenheit per decade since 1975, which is "50 percent superior to the average of nations in the northern hemisphere."
The study says that Spain is on track to be 0.6 degrees Celsius higher in summer and between 35 and 37 degrees Fahrenheit higher in winter by the end of the 21st century.
According to the study, sea levels along Spain's Atlantic coast rose 0.07 inches per year during the second half of the 20th century. They rose 0.4 inches along the country's Mediterranean coast.
Teresa Ribera, Spain's secretary of state for climate change, said the study's predictions were "impressive."
According to experts, desertification is threatening one-third of the landmass of Spain, Europe's most arid country.
Climate change has already forced some grape growers in Spain to shade their vineyards, develop heat-resistant crops and move to cooler mountainside locations. Spain is one of Europe's largest grape-growing nations.
According to environmental groups like Greenpeace, climate change caused glaciers in the Pyrenees to shrink and wetlands and lagoons to be destroyed.