Reports have come out to say that Spain’s southern border will be one large desert in less than 100 years due to greenhouse gases. Spain and the Mediterranean area has always been a warm climate with temperate forests, but the rise of desert temperatures has environmental scientists concerned.
Scientists predict that average temperatures in Spain (as well as globally) will rise 5 degree Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100. This is the worst-case scenario if greenhouse gases and carbon emissions were to stay at the levels they are now.
This phenomenon will not only affect Spain, but many areas by Mediterranean Sea including France, Sicily, North Africa, and others. Scientists predict the vegetation will evolve to survive the rising temperatures and many populations are likely to migrate to other areas.
The lead author of the study that found these results, Joel Guiot notes that humans have been moving around for a millennium for many reasons, including climate change. If the temperatures rise too fast, humans won’t be able to adapt.
Guiot primarily based his study on the vegetation and the migrating forest in southern Spain. The temperate forest trees are steadily moving north while desert plants are slowly taking their place.
The solution to this issue is known as the Paris Climate Agreement. It is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with the goal to lower carbon emissions in Europe and bring the rising temperatures to only 1.5C instead of 5C.
“I like that they’re doing this comparison across different warming scenarios in line with the Paris agreement, to start to gauge the sensitivity to them,” says Benjamin Cook, a climate scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City.
The biggest concern is the rising temperatures and resulting droughts in many countries. The situation in Europe has been compared to the droughts happening in the southwestern states of America. California has been in a drought for years, along with other states such as Alabama, Arizona, and Nevada.
The United States have always had desert climates in the Southwestern and Southeastern regions, but several states are experiencing record severe or worse droughts with rain fall as little as 11 inches or less.
The U.S. government has formed the National Drought Resilience Partnership (NDRP) to assist farmers who are affected by the drought. Other citizens are restricted in some states, including California, in how long they use their water, i.e. how long they can keep their sprinklers on.
The assistance to US farmers is more vital to keep crops from dying out.
With global warming affecting every part of the world, scientist urge the masses to be more environmentally conscious to prevent further natural catastrophes such as droughts and severe climate change.