July 24, 2009

Study: Iberian Peninsula rainfall to drop

Decades of study suggest a significant decline in rainfall over the Iberian Peninsula in coming years, especially in spring and summer, Spanish scientists said.

Researchers from the Pyrenean Institute of Ecology, Saragossa, Spain, based their climate projections on rainfall data taken from 1950 to 2006 and climate change models for the years 2040 to 2060.

The data suggests less rainfall over the peninsula, which includes Spain, Portugal, Andorra, Gibraltar and a small area of France, with precipitation more frequent in winter than in spring or summer, Juan Ignacio Lopez-Moreno, the author's study, said in a release Thursday.

The research, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, showed that precipitation in March on the peninsula fell by 8 percent from 1950 to 2002, and increased by 3 percent in April and May during the same period. There also was a slight increase in rainfall between August and December.