CLIMATE – In Europe, we have never seen such an intense heat wave appear in the middle of April. A very hot air mass will suffocate the‘Spain this week, with temperature peaks reaching 40 degrees from this Wednesday, April 26, more than 15 degrees above normal for the season. To make matters worse, the drought devastates a large part of the territory, which raises fears of worsening water shortages, the spread of fires, and significant agricultural losses.
The expected temperatures could even spray the european record, reached in Orihuela, Spain, on April 9, 2011, where the bar of 39 degrees had been exceeded, recalls meteorologist Fabien Delacour on Twitter. Such an early and intense heat wave is “unprecedented in Spain” And “ unprecedented in Europe, underlines agroclimatologist Serge Zaka on the social network.
The Spanish meteorological agency, Aemet, confirms in a press release this Sunday that the country will face “unusually high temperatures for this time of year”and that they will reach Thursday and Friday, 35°C in the southern half and the Ebro Valley and 40°C in the Guadalquivir”.
This heat wave is linked to a “very hot and dry air mass, of African origin, over mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands”, continues the national forecaster. And the minimum temperatures at night will give Spain no respite, with “tropical nights”especially in Andalusia, where the thermometer will not drop below 20 degrees.
230 liters of water per inhabitant per day
If these predictions come true, “it would be something never seen in our modern history”says the Spanish daily El País Juan Jesús González Alemán, researcher at Aemet. The spokesperson for the weather agency, Rubén del Campo also warns: “It would be the most intense heat wave of those recorded in April since there are data”that is to say since 1961.
A heat wave worthy of a month of July which occurs when agriculture is already “ both knees on the ground » because of a historic drought, still worries agroclimatologist Serge Zaka on Twitter. This scientist says “frightened” by the dizzying figures concerning the loss of agricultural yields: “3.5 million hectares (333 times the size of Paris!) are definitely lost! ». This figure comes from a report by the Spanish agricultural organization COAGwhich adds that drought affects 60% of the countryside.
For 32 months, Catalonia has not experienced sufficient rain to water its soil, adds Franceinfo. So much so that the region already lacks drinking water for its 7.7 million inhabitants. Town halls are forced to restrict water to 230 liters per person per day, commercial and economic use included, under penalty of fines, indicates The world.
One of the largest dry wetlands in Europe
Water scarcity has also completely dried up one of Europe’s main wetlands, Doñana National Park in Andalusia. ” There is just a little water in 300 hectares out of the 30,000 hectares that should be flooded,” deplores Felipe Fuentelsaz, water and agriculture specialist of the NGO WWF at the microphone of France info. Intensive agriculture to grow strawberries accentuates the phenomenon of drought. 300,000 tonnes of strawberries are illegally irrigated around this protected area, and are then exported all over Europe.
The Minister of Agriculture, Luis Planas, warned against this “unprecedented situation” due to the lack of water that Spain is experiencing and which threatens agricultural and livestock production. With rainfall nearly 25% below normal since October, he urged farmers to “adapting to the climate change we are facing”.
The intensity and precocity of these extremes of heat and drought are in fact linked to the climate deregulation, “Because this is not a one-time event, we have seen that over the past few decades, warm spells are outweighing cold spells and that they are happening earlier and earlier, are more frequent, last longer and are more intense “, analyzes Rubén del Campo, spokesperson for Aemet daily El País. This heat wave is already the second of the spring in Spain after the one that occurred at the end of March.
See also on The HuffPost:
#Spain #peaks #expected #heat #wave