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Global heating: Risk of wildfires in Spain increases

A new forest fire has broken out on the southern part of Greece's Evia island, less than two weeks after an inferno decimated its northern part. — © AFP
A new forest fire has broken out on the southern part of Greece's Evia island, less than two weeks after an inferno decimated its northern part. — © AFP

Scientists at climate technology company AiDash have sourced satellite data to report that land surface temperatures have increased 6 degrees Celsius throughout Europe. Consequently, several holiday hotspots in Spain are at serious risk of wildfires in the next two weeks.

Temperatures across Europe have soared across July and into August 2022, and wildfires have raged across thousands of acres impacting vast swathes of society and the environment.

The AiDash forecast is based on their predictive model using data from satellites, using an advanced algorithm. The proprietary model uses these inputs including: Vegetation health, Land cover, Land Surface Temperature, Digital Elevation Model, Drought (SPI) and Rainfall (Forecast).

From this, the identified wildfire hotspots in Spain are:

1.         Malaga (Coastal)

2.         Granada (Coastal)

3.         Almeria (Coastal)

4.         Salamanca

5.         Zamora

6.         Jaen

7.         Cuenca

8.         Albacete

9.         Burgos

10.       Barcelona (Coastal)

Dr Anil Singh at AiDash comments: “Global warming has increased the frequency of extreme weather events. We have used satellites to explore what’s happening to land surface temperatures and using our model looked ahead for such extreme weather events.”

This is a real-life situation, Singh adds: “Portugal and Spain have already been impacted by wildfires but there is more on the way. The rising land surface temperatures will not only lead to heightened instances of wildfires but also crop water being at risk”.

While temperatures in European countries have soared higher than in the pre-industrial era, globally, in June 2022, temperatures have also risen with the rising temperature in Antarctica being of greatest concern.

As part of the efforts to address this, early warning systems can beneficial. Singh adds that: “Early warning is crucial for any potential crisis so that authorities can prepare and ultimately protect property and lives. This is true not only for those on holiday in Spain, but also for any core industry around the world that is exposed to the devastation of storms, wildfires, and other natural disasters.”

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Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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