By John Ensor • 19 August 2023 • 22:48
Thermometer showing high temperature.
Is Spain on the brink of an unprecedented climate catastrophe? A stern warning from NASA suggests that the country could regularly experience temperatures above 50 degrees unless serious measures are taken.
Carlos del Castillo, head of the oceanic ecology laboratory at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, explained the perilous process that Spain is currently facing. The warning comes as the country grapples with intense heatwaves and record-breaking temperatures, according to El Español, Saturday, August 19.
Spain recorded its highest-ever temperature of 47.6 degrees in 2021 at the meteorological station in La Rambla, Cordoba. Traditional thermometers may not be entirely accurate, but they do indicate that the situation is becoming increasingly dire.
Two years after nearly reaching 48 degrees, a record for both Spain and the Iberian Peninsula, the situation has not improved but has worsened significantly. Carlos del Castillo has issued a serious warning on behalf of NASA regarding Spain’s alarming trend towards extreme heat.
In an interview with Cadena SER, del Castillo spoke about the global climate crisis and its impact on countries like Spain. He said, ‘Yes, during heatwaves, it is plausible that we will reach these temperatures. We continue with the stove on, and temperatures will continue to rise.’ He emphasised the severity of the problem, despite the seemingly humorous comparison to a stove.
According to del Castillo, the key to the problem lies in the continued emission of greenhouse gases. He stated, ‘We continue to emit more gases into the atmosphere. Therefore, there is no reason to think that temperatures will not continue to rise.’ He also cited examples from regions in Africa and Asia that have already reached these alarming extremes.
Del Castillo further explained that densely populated areas like Spain are not prepared to withstand such temperatures. The climate’s unpredictability will not only affect summer but also winter, leading to more intense rain and paradoxically, heavier snowfall.
One of the most severe impacts of these extreme temperatures will be on Spain’s tourism industry. Del Castillo warned of rising sea levels and warmer waters leading to coastal flooding in tourist-favoured areas. He said, ‘There will be more heatwaves, and temperatures will continue to rise as we have seen in these very warm months.’
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
When he's not writing for EWN he enjoys gigging in a acoustic duo, looking after their four dogs, four chickens, two cats, and cycling up mountains very slowly.
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