There has been a significant increase in semi-arid areas.

27-03-2019Pixabay

A report by Aemet states that 68.5% of Spaniards (32 million people) are now affected by climate change. The met agency explains that this is due to the past ten years having been hotter and to longer summers. These now last almost five weeks longer than at the start of the 1980s and have meant an increase in the number of "tropical nights" (when temperatures do not dip below 20C).

The Aemet study is based on data from the 58 weather observatories across the country. At 37 of them, recordings show that at least five of the years from 2011 to 2018 were hotter than the average. Certain findings are more extreme than others. Those for the airport in Barcelona are among them; each year since 2011 has been categorised as very hot.

The average temperatures at all the observatories have increased. These have been most notable in spring and summer. Because of the longer summers, the hottest time of the year is now from around the eleventh of June to the twenty-second of September. In the 1970s it was from mid-July to mid-September.

A further indication of climate change, Aemet notes, is that semi-arid land has increased by 30,000 square kilometres over the past fifty years. Areas of the country most affected include the southeast of the mainland.