chapter  15
12 Pages

Considerations on climate variability and change in Spain

WithA. Garrido, B. Willaarts, E. López-Gunn & D. Rey

The Mediterranean region is likely to suffer more severe climate change impacts than other EU countries (Bates et al., 2008). Droughts could become more intense and frequent, and rivers’ run-off may decrease (Fischer et al., 2007; Lorenzo-Lacruz et al., 2012). Despite these projections, Spain lacked a detailed spatial assessment of potential changes in temperature and precipitations induced by an increase in CO2. This assessment is needed to forecast as far as feasible potential on-site hydrological changes and identify possible adaptation measures. Most national assessments performed so far (de Castro et al., 2005; Iglesias et al., 2005) relied on calculations obtained from broad-scale assessments from Atmosphere-Ocean coupled General Circulation Models (AOGCMs), which have low spatial resolution and a high degree of uncertainty. In response to this information gap, the Spanish Climate Change Office (Oficina Española de Cambio Climático, OECC), coordinator of the National Adaptation Plan to Climate Change (Plan Nacional de Adaptación al Cambio Climático, PNACC) issued in 2006, commissioned the elaboration of a regional assessment on the likely impacts of Climate Change on water resources in Spain. The first output has been the publication of the so-called Assessment of the effects of CC on natural water resources (CEDEX, 2011), which represents the most up to date report on future climate scenarios at the regional scale for Spain (1 km2 resolution). According to this report, the mean annual temperature in Spain is expected to increase progressively along the 21st century, +0.065°C/year under A2 scenario and +0.048°C/year under scenario B2. This means that by 2040 mean annual temperature in Spain could increase between +1.4 to +1.9°C.