Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

A door-to-door parcel delivery man, cools himself in a fountain during his work, ahead of the first summer heatwave in the centre of Barcelona, Spain June 26, 2023. — Reuters

Spanish weather agency said Monday that temperatures were at the highest in the country on the first day of October with further increase likely which is to persist for more than a week, as human-induced climate change continues to exacerbate and threaten human lives throughout the world.  

According to the AEMET weather agency, scorching temperatures in Spain continued for three days starting from Friday as the mercury hit 38.2 degrees Celsius (100.7 Fahrenheit) in the southern town of Montoro Sunday.

The agency wrote on X — formerly called Twitter: “On October 1, it reached an all-time high for this time of year in practically the entire Iberian Peninsula.” 

It also added: “Nearly 40% of its weather stations had registered a temperature of 32C or higher.”

The previous October record was set in 2014 when the mercury hit 37.5C in the southern town of Marbella.

A report late last month stated that European countries experienced the highest-ever temperatures in September.

This alarming trend comes in a year that experts predict will be the warmest in human history as the impacts of climate change continue to take a toll.

These unseasonably warm conditions in Europe follow a report from the EU climate monitor earlier in the month, which stated that global temperatures during the Northern Hemisphere summer were the highest ever recorded.

Earlier, Spain and Portugal’s national weather institutes issued warnings of abnormally warm temperatures expected to hit the region, with parts of southern Spain experiencing temperatures exceeding 35 degrees Celsius.

Scientists attribute these rising temperatures to climate change driven by human activity, with global temperatures now approximately 1.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The El Niño weather phenomenon, which warms waters in the southern Pacific and beyond, is expected to contribute to further temperature increases.

The consequences of these disruptions to the planet’s climate systems include more frequent and intense extreme weather events like heatwaves, droughts, wildfires, and storms, leading to greater loss of life and property.

The situation was similar on Monday, with the southern city of Seville reaching 38.1C, AEMET figures showed.

“But the most extraordinary thing is that there are still quite a few unseasonably warm days left: we could have up to 10 more days of record heat,” the agency said.

Although it has become accustomed to soaring summer temperatures, notably in the south, Spain has experienced an uptick in longer and hotter heatwaves, experts say.

Spain, which had its hottest year on record in 2022, has been in the grip of successive heatwaves this year which got off to an unusually early start in April, exacerbating an ongoing drought.

Experts say the recurring heatwaves, which have been getting longer and more intense, are a consequence of climate change.

The Iberian Peninsula is bearing the brunt of climate change in Europe, with droughts and wildfires becoming more and more common.

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