By Humphrey Carter

OVER the past century, annual rainfall has fallen while the average temperatures have risen as the Balearics suffers from the effects of climate change.

The Balearic climate research centre yesterday published the results of an exhaustive study in to the change in the regional climate over the past 100 years and, according to the experts, the findings are alarming.

Just 24 hours after Greenpeace released images of how parts of Spain will look in just 50 years time, it was revealed that annual rainfall in the Balearics has plummeted by 30 percent and that maximum temperatures have risen by an average of 4.82ºC while the minimum has risen by 5.15ºC.

Presenting the report, the Balearic minister for the environment, Miguel Angel Grimalt, said that the findings will help give the authorities an idea of how the future climate changes and their consequences in the Balearics.

Temperatures, for example, are going to continue climbing with the sharpest increases recorded during the Spring when maximum temperatures have risen by an average of 8ºC over the past century.

Grimalt, who warned skeptics to neither rubbish the report nor ignore climate change, said that it is important for the Balearics to closely monitor climate change because of the potential impact it could have on the region's main industry - tourism.

Annual rainfall, according to the report, has dropped by 190 millilitres per year since 1907.
Autumn rainfall is down by 40 percent and our winters are now 45 percent drier than 100 years ago.
The biggest change is that the Balearics no longer has a wet season but that rain falls throughout the year as humidity levels gradually fall during winter and autumn. What is more, as the Balearics witnessed last month, the region will be susceptible to extreme rainfall - either light or very heavy. Facing dramatic change, the government is teaming up with the Balearic University to obtain a more accurate forecast of the implications climate change pose to the Balearics in the future.


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