Less rain and more tropical nights for the next 30 years in Catalonia

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Climate change will drastically alter the Catalonia that is known today: heat in the Pyrenees, torrid nights on the coast and drought in the South and in Lleida.

This is how 2050 looks, according to climate projections of the Meteorological Service of Catalonia (SMC-Meteocat), which were presented this Wednesday and which update the previous ones, which Meteocat prepared in 2012.

Heat in the Pyrenees

According to the study, the temperature will grow about three degrees in 2050 compared to the average between 1971 and 2000, if no mitigation strategy is applied. However, even applying the Paris agreements, it would also overcome the 2 degree barrier.

The maximum temperatures will grow more than the minimum ones, reaching 4 degree peaks more in the worst case scenario. He autumn it would be the season most affected, as summer temperatures extended until October. They wait 30 more days of heat (with more than 30 degrees) and 20 days less frost (with less than 0 degrees) every year.

“The Mediterranean world is especially sensitive to warming”

Marc Prohom

Researcher at the Meteorological Service of Catalonia

He Pyrenees It would be the area with the greatest increases in temperature and the greatest reduction in frost days (although it is also the one where it is more difficult to make detailed predictions, due to its orographic complexity). As for the coastal areas, it is expected 25 more tropical nights every year and that the frosts disappear almost completely.

“The Mediterranean world, together with the poles, is especially sensitive to warming,” he says. Marc Prohom, a Meteocat researcher who presented the study.

More irregular rain

Predictions of rainfall are less conclusive, but show a downward trend, about 10%, with descent peaks in summer and fall. He southern Catalonia it would be the area that would lose the most rainfall. An increase in the duration of the dry spells in the littoral-pre-littoral zone and the Speaker Lands.

The new study uses statistical methods that allow a finer prediction (1 kilometer parcels of territory) than in the previous report. It is also based on updated emission scenarios based on the most recent IPCC predictions.

“Climate change is taking hold of us”

Eliseu Vilaclara

Director of the Meteorological Service of Catalonia

The previous batch of predictions was very close to the real evolution of the climatic parameters. However, the researchers found that the actual temperature increased more than they anticipated. That possible undervaluation it is a warning about current predictions: although the models have been improved, the future could be even worse than the prediction they give.

Catalan Strategy

Meteocat’s predictions will serve as the basis for updating the Catalan Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change, as announced at the presentation ceremony Mercè Rius, General Director of Environmental Quality and Climate Change of the Department of Territories. Rius is confident that the strategy will be ready within 2021.

The climate roadmap Minister Calvet has not advanced

The roadmap against climate change, which the Minister of territory and sustainability Damià Calvet announced in January, is stagnant. The commissions that had to oversee compliance with voluntary climate commitments by companies and organizations they are not yet formed, according to Rius.

Prohom points to some consequences of the predictions. “For example, hot nights have an effect on the Health. Droughts in the farming. The decrease in frost when snow tourism“, he suggests.

“In the past six months we have had three very heavy rains,” he observes. Eliseu Vilaclara, director of the Servei Meteorològic de Catalunya. “Climate change is not something that will be thrown at us, it is something that it is already falling on us“, he concludes.

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