Climate change ‘could turn southern Spain to desert by 2100’

Southern Spain will turn into a desert if, by the end of the century, new measures are not taken to control greenhouse gas emissions. That’s the warning from scientists who said […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

Southern Spain will turn into a desert if, by the end of the century, new measures are not taken to control greenhouse gas emissions.

That’s the warning from scientists who said global warming above 1.5°C, higher than pre-industrial levels, will transform the Mediterranean’s vegetation and turn southern Spain into a desert.

The report, published in the journal Science, estimates temperatures would rise by 5°C globally under the worst case scenario, causing deserts that will expand to Spain and Sicily.

Climate change has already warmed the region by 1.3°C compared to around 1°C worldwide since the industrial revolution, it adds.

Only in the scenario where the global temperature limit is at 1.5°C, as set in the Paris Agreement, would see ecosystems remain within the limits they experienced, the scientists said.

They added: “At or above 2°C of warming, climatic change will generate Mediterranean land ecosystem changes that are unmatched in the Holocene, a period characterised by recurring precipitation deficits rather than temperature anomalies.”

Climate change will be part of the discussions at the Energy Live 2016 conference in London. Find out more here and join in the discussions using #EL2016.