ARE WE IN SUMMER OR WHAT?

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Tinto de verano anyone?

by Jack Wright
Photos taken between late September and early October by R. Maramba unless noted otherwise

 

It’s October and the temperatures seem to have gotten stuck in the 30sºC all over the country. Folks who have begun to take out their Fall gear have had to shove them back deep into the closet in favor of light clothing. The Weather Bureau report, as it appeared on TV Teletext last 27 September, says the warm weather is “extraordinary and intense” for this time of the year, and that this is a phenomenon that hasn’t happened since at least 1950.

Daytime temperatures between 30ºC and 32ºC  (86ºF – 89.6ºF) are what the Spaniards are getting in many parts of their country these days and in the coming week. It could go up to as high as  34º (93.2ºF) in southern Cataluña’s Ebro Valley and 38ºC (100.4ºF) in the Andalusian Guadalquivir Valley.

The nights are exceptionally warm too.

Overall, the forecast is that the Fall in Spain is going to be uncharacteristically warm.

There doesn’t seem to be any room for doubt that the “culprit” is climate change.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of  the Interior,

What are some of the signs of climate change?

• Temperatures are rising worldwide due to greenhouse gases trapping more heat in the atmosphere.

• Droughts are becoming longer and more extreme around the world.

• Tropical storms becoming more severe due to warmer ocean water temperatures.

• As temperatures rise there is less snowpack in mountain ranges and polar areas and the snow melts faster.

• Overall, glaciers are melting at a faster rate.

• Sea ice in the Arctic Ocean around the North Pole is melting faster with the warmer temperatures.

• Permafrost is melting, releasing methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere.

• Sea levels are rising, threatening coastal communities and estuarine ecosystems.

What are the long-term effects of climate change?

Scientists have predicted that the long-term effects of climate change will include a decrease in sea ice and an increase in permafrost thawing, an increase in heat waves and heavy precipitation, and decreased water resources in semi-arid regions.

Below are some of the regional impacts of global change forecast by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:

  • North America: Decreasing snowpack in the western mountains; 5-20 percent increase in yields of rain-fed agriculture in some regions; increased frequency, intensity and duration of heat waves in cities that currently experience them.
  • Latin America: Gradual replacement of tropical forest by savannah in eastern Amazonia; risk of significant biodiversity loss through species extinction in many tropical areas; significant changes in water availability for human consumption, agriculture and energy generation.
  • Europe: Increased risk of inland flash floods; more frequent coastal flooding and increased erosion from storms and sea level rise; glacial retreat in mountainous areas; reduced snow cover and winter tourism; extensive species losses; reductions of crop productivity in southern Europe.
  • Africa: Between 75 and 250 million people are projected to be exposed to increased water stress; yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50 percent in some regions; agricultural production, including access to food, may be severely compromised.
  • Asia: Freshwater availability projected to decrease in Central, South, East and Southeast Asia by the 2050s; coastal areas will be at risk due to increased flooding; death rate from disease associated with floods and droughts expected to rise in some regions.

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Featured image/Tomas Elias Gonzalez Benitez’s photostream via Flickr, PD