Southern Spain will turn into a desert if, by the end of the century, new measures are not taken to control greenhouse gas emissions.
That’s the warning from scientists who said global warming above 1.5°C, higher than pre-industrial levels, will transform the Mediterranean’s vegetation and turn southern Spain into a desert.
The report, published in the journal Science, estimates temperatures would rise by 5°C globally under the worst case scenario, causing deserts that will expand to Spain and Sicily.
Climate change has already warmed the region by 1.3°C compared to around 1°C worldwide since the industrial revolution, it adds.
Only in the scenario where the global temperature limit is at 1.5°C, as set in the Paris Agreement, would see ecosystems remain within the limits they experienced, the scientists said.
They added: “At or above 2°C of warming, climatic change will generate Mediterranean land ecosystem changes that are unmatched in the Holocene, a period characterised by recurring precipitation deficits rather than temperature anomalies.”