Wed, 23 Jun 2021

MADRID, July 2 (Xinhua) -- 2020 is expected to be the hottest year on record in Spain, a spokesperson of Spain's State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) said here Thursday.

During a presentation of the annual "State of the Climate in Spain 2019" report, spokesperson Ruben Del Campo explained that the first five months of 2020 have been the warmest ever recorded in the country.

The report showed that 8 of the 10 hottest years ever recorded have been in the current century. And Spain has seen a 0.3 degrees increase in temperature for every decade since the 1960s, with the effects of this temperature rise more evident in the summer than in other seasons of the year.

The rising temperatures have been accompanied by a "moderate decrease in rainfall over the last 50 years," which has also led to an increased risk of forest fires in Spain, according to the report.

2019 was the sixth hottest year since measurements began in 1965, with an average temperature of 15.9 degrees, which is 0.8 degrees higher than the average from 1981 to 2010.

Spain's Minister for Ecological Transition Teresa Ribera said at the presentation that this showed the effects of climate change were "very visible" and warned that "warming not only isn't stopping, it is accelerating at high speed."

She explained that the increased pace of climate change would not only lead to more wildfires, but risked further desertification and meant that when it does rain, there is an increased risk of torrential downpours and flooding.

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