Cooling down at Hort del Rei in Palma this month. | Jaume Morey


Ten years ago, the Aemet met agency registered a temperature anomaly of +0.6 degrees in July. In June this year, there was an anomaly of +1.6C. The highest temperature in 2013 was 40.6C in Sa Pobla. Last week there was a record high of 43.9C.

In isolation, these figures don't really prove a lot. They could have been ... anomalies; out of the ordinary. But they are an indication of a warming of temperatures, and a study by the Fundación Matrix, which is based in Galicia and is dedicated to sustainable development research, indicates that the average summer temperature in Mallorca has increased by two degrees over the past twenty years. In addition, the peak temperatures have risen while there are more regular heat waves.

For the period 1971 to 2000, nowhere in Mallorca had an average annual temperature above 20C. On the highest peaks of the Tramuntana, the annual average was below 12.5C. But for a different period - 1988 to 2017 - areas of the Mallorcan coast exceeded 20C, while there was an increase in the Tramuntana range as well.

Analysis at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia points to average maximum temperatures in July and August for the years 2015 to 2018 that were above 31C. Between 2010 and 2014, the average maximum temperature was below 30C.

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The summer of 2022 was the hottest on record. The anomaly exceeded +2C compared with the average; in September it was +4C. An all-time high of 44.5C was recorded in Montuiri on August 13, and last summer was marked by three heat waves, a number never previously recorded. The second, in July, lasted twelve days. The third, in August, was 15 days, the longest since 1989.

Going back over the years, there were of course episodes of particularly hot weather, but they weren't as regular and didn't produce the same high temperatures on a consistent basis. There was just one heat wave during the whole of the 1990s. This was in 1993. When the previous all-time high of 44.2C was set in Muro in July 1994, there wasn't a heat wave as such.

So far this summer, there have been two heat waves in Mallorca and eight municipalities have broken their heat records, such as Sa Pobla's 43.9C. Several weather stations on the island have exceeded 40C on three occasions this month. The consistency with which 40C is now being reached and passed never used to be the case; 40C used to be an occasional exception.

(A temperature of 44.9C claimed for Llubi last Tuesday was not verified by Aemet; the record is still 44.5C.)