climate change

The weather turns unpredictable as unseasonal heat sets of wildfires in Spain

Photo credit: Reuters / Lorena Sopena.

By Anders Lorenzen

On the back of record heat and wildfires this year, dozens of wildfires raged across Spain after temperatures hit a staggering 30 degrees C in late October. In the regions of the Basque Country, Asturias and Cantabria around 40 blazes were reported. In some areas, vegetation had turned into dry fuel working as a catalyst for the wildfires, adding to increasing concerns about Europe’s changing weather patterns.

Hottest October in Spain since records began

AEMET, the national weather agency in Spain predicted that this October would be the hottest since records began as almost every day of the month had been warmer than normal.

Euskalmet, the weather agency in the Basque Country, had raised the wildfire risk in the region to moderate and high.

So far 2022 has been the worst year for wildfires in Spain as 260,000 hectares have been destroyed by blazes. And throughout Europe, this year wildfires have burned 775,941 hectares – the second-largest area on record.

While in general the heatwave and high temperatures this year have been devastating for Spain’s agricultural industry, it has been a tragic disaster for the country’s world-famous olive and wine industry

The trend of rising temperatures across Europe

Alongside Spain, many other southern European countries were hit with extreme heatwaves, with temperatures above 40 degrees C. This is part of a global trend of rising temperatures and climate change which scientists say is tied to the usage of fossil fuels.

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