AVERAGE temperatures in the Balearics will rise by between 4 and 5 degrees Celsius throughout the course of this century as a consequence of the climatic change triggered by the “greenhouse” effect. According to Agustín Jansá, director of the Balearic Meteorological Centre, the rise in temperature is a “variable, but not linear” meteorological factor which is subject to alterations and fluctuations. “In 2003, after having suffered the hottest summer recorded in the history of the Balearic Islands, this year's summer is expected to be cooler” signalled Jansá. He said, nevertheless, that it is somewhat early to make definite predictions. When temperatures started to soar to record heights last summer, a series of major power failures were witnessed in the Islands, essentially caused by a surge in demand for electricity. With the power distribution network pushed to its limit, the Balearic government came to an agreement with the Administration of José María Aznar to link the Islands' electricity supply to that of the Peninsula, thereby ensuring adequate energy even in peak tourist season. Jansá highlighted the fact that the Archipelago has registered an increase of 1 degree in average temperatures over the last 30 years, owing to the heating up of the earth and other abnormalities created by the “greenhouse” effect. This tendency will continue in the future owing in part to the massive use of air conditioning machinery which pushes contaminating gases to the exterior of buildings which adds to the spiralling pollution and temperature increase. The director is to give a conference today in the Son Lledó building on the Balearic university campus. He will be accompanied on the occasion by Alfredo Barón, the head of a Special Studies service of the Balearic government's Water Resources directorate. The conference is being held to mark World Meteorology Day which, this year, is being celebrated under the slogan “The weather, climate and water in an age of information”. Jansá will explain that the application of new technology to climatology and meteorology allows daily analyses on the water and rain balance of the region to be carried out by means of computer programmes located at meteorological stations. Such technology functions independently without the physical presence of managers being necessary. According to Jansá, this technological advance means that water can also be seen as a threat, that is to say, the machinery can predict torrential rains, and as a consequence prevent possible flooding.