Rising heat, more forest fires, less rain and animal extinction could be in store for Spain by 2050 due to climate change, according to a new study.
The Observatory of Sustainability has released its forecasts for the years leading up to 2100. Their report claimed Spain could warm by 2.6 degrees by 2050 in the worst case scenario of the country failing to move away from fossil fuels and slash emissions.
The study, based on government data, found that in the worst case RCP8.5 scenario Spain would warm by 2.6 degrees 50 years before average global temperatures reach that level.
The forecast follows data last week which showed that emissions in Spain rose by 4.4 per cent from 2016 to 2017.
The authors of the report said that percentage showed the country had not moved away from fossil fuels, making their worst-case scenario more likely.
The Observatory’s Climate Change in Spain report, which used the CCSM4 prediction model to produce its findings, claimed rainfall levels would drop if temperatures warmed by 2.6 degrees.
The effects would be seen across the country except in the western Canary Islands, Navarra and the Valencia Region would see less rain.
Flooding would also be more likely in those areas because rainfall would not be distributed evenly throughout the year.
The report said rain would become “scarce” in northwest Spain, a region which currently has a temperate climate compared to much of the country.
Galicia, Lugo and Ourense could see reductions of 500 millimetres per year, half their current levels of annual rainfall. They could come to resemble how Southern Spain looks today rather than the current ‘Green Spain’ landscapes they are known for.
The report also found Spain would see temperatures rise well above 2 degrees by 2050, with the only exception being A Coruña, the Balearic and Canary Islands.
The regions of Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura and parts of Andalucia would be hit hardest by rising temperatures.
More wildfires and the extinction of species could follow the rise, the Observatory said. It added temperatures last September had peaked at 1.4 degrees above average.