According to a study, the recent extreme heat in Spain and other countries in the western Mediterranean region is most likely due to artificial climate change. It has made record temperatures around 40 degrees in Spain, Portugal, Morocco, and Algeria at least a hundred times more likely.
Parts of southwestern Europe and North Africa were gripped by extreme heat a few days ago, with maximum temperatures of up to 41 degrees recorded in the region, according to the international research network World Weather Attribution (WWA) report). Such heat at the end of April would have been impossible without climate change.
In Spain, new April records were registered in about 100 measuring stations across the country, according to the national weather service Aemet. According to the report, the highest value of this latest heat period in the country was 38.8 degrees on April 27 in Cordoba, Andalusia. At the same time, this exceeded the previous high in the city for April by 4.8 degrees.
“As other analyses of extreme heat in Europe have shown, extreme temperatures in the region are rising faster than predicted by climate models,” the WWA report says. But the problem is not limited to Europe. Climate change has made heat waves “more frequent, longer and hotter worldwide,” it said.
Mediterranean region is particularly at risk
“As long as greenhouse gas emissions are not stopped altogether, global temperatures will continue to rise, and events like these will become more frequent and severe,” warns the international organization, which includes several renowned climate scientists, including Friederike Otto of Germany, who has been at Imperial College in London since 2021.
Speaking about the study, the Kiel-based scientist stressed that the Mediterranean region is one of the most vulnerable regions in Europe to climate change. “The region is already experiencing a very intense and prolonged drought, and these high temperatures at a time of year when it should be raining are making the situation worse,” Otto said. “Without a rapid cessation of fossil fuel burning and adaptation to a warmer, drier climate, the losses and damage to the region will continue to increase dramatically.”