Could Spain turn into a dry, arid wasteland by 2050?

The Tabernas desert in Almeria could be a more common sight across Spain

The Tabernas desert in Almeria could be a more common sight across Spain Credit: Wikipedia

According to a recent study by Swiss researchers at ETH Zurich and Crowther Lab, climate change and unsustainable land could spell disaster for Spain’s ecosystem.

The report suggests that if CO2 emissions are not dramatically reduced, at the going rate, the average temperature in Spain could increase by 2.1 degrees with maximum temperatures increasing by up to 6.4 degrees.

With Spanish temperatures already at a record high this year, a continued growth of this amount could lead to longer and more severe droughts across the Iberian Peninsula.

The study also warns of a reduction in precipitation by up to 40 percent, leaving 74 percent of Spanish agricultural land unusable.Much of the eastern Andalucian coastline, specifically the Almeria and Murcia areas, are already seeing the damage caused by increasing temperatures, but experts warn that the problem will soon spread across the country.

“The process of desertification will never produce a desert. Desertification creates something much worse than that–a landscape formed by opportunistic ecosystems and land degradation,” explained Gabriel del Barrio, a researcher at the Experimental Station for Arid Zones (EEZA) in Almeria, Spain.

Spain sits in a very vulnerable position geographically with its temperature and weather systems all effecting the terrain and with the steady increase in CO2 emissions and the continued over farming ofrural land, serious steps need to be undertaken.

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