Although climate has changed significantly throughout history, changes in recent years are of great concern to experts. and is that the increase in the temperature of the planet has been so sudden that animal and plant species that do not have time to adapt, And the consequences are already being felt. A global phenomenon but it is becoming especially evident in our country.
«Spain is one of the most affected places for two reasons. First, because it is one of the regions where the effects of climate change have been felt with greater ferocity and speed. and secondly, because of its geographical location, because We are a country that is between two continents and we have a very diverse biodiversity, adapted to our climatic conditions”, explains WWF Conservation Coordinator Luis Suarez. “We started to notice changes in the last decade, but recently they have been accelerating. There are things that we thought would happen in 10 or 20 years and we are already seeing them,” he added.
effect on living beings
The animals most affected by the rise in temperature are obviously those that require colder environments to live. and here Their ability to migrate to areas best suited to their needs is important, This is explained by Margarita Salas Diego Gil, a postdoctoral researcher at Madrid’s Complutense University, who has studied some of the insect cases.
“There is a relationship between altitude and latitude. Higher and further north have lower temperatures and more precipitation. And conversely, lower and further south have higher temperatures and less precipitation. Insect climates are migratory, and either go to higher altitudes or migrate to the north. But the difference is sooner or later there comes a time when you can’t go any higherThis is the reason why many species are at risk of extinction in the future. And on the other hand, there is always a lot of area to spread in the north,” says Gill.
There are examples of everything. Diaz suggests that the Montseny newt, an endemic species of Catalonia that lived at moderate altitudes, has reached higher, Something similar has happened to the Apollo butterfly, rising several hundred meters in the Sierra de Guadarrama.
And Gill remembers the case of the mud bee, typical of Mediterranean coastal regions, which had never been seen in Germany until recently. But five years ago they started to explore it there and it colonized the whole country completely. The same happened with the saffron dragonfly, which arrived in Spain in 2007 from Africa, was introduced in France in 2017 and has recently been detected in Belgium.
In addition, there are other animals, such as the capercaillie of the Cantabrian mountain range, which India is bearing the brunt of climate change in its food and drink, The time in which their young are born previously coincided with the time in which many insects hatched, which have now been brought forward by a rise in temperature. So when these animals give birth they find that they have no way to feed their babies.
Marine species, according to Suarez, are one of the major victims. This is because the increase in temperature in the oceans has caused the waters to warm, leading to the arrival of invasive species that are eliminating native inhabitants and unbalancing the ecosystem. We have been able to see this with lionfish, a formidable tropical predator that has reached our waters, and also with some algae from the Gulf of Cádiz.
effects on plants
«What is happening to us is nothing special, it is a long-term issue. We have been facing climate change for 30 years, but only now are we seeing its effects. The forests are not healthy and need to be changed to adapt,” says Marc Castelnau, chief inspector of the Generalitat fire department. According to this expert, the high temperatures that have caused 2022 has been the year to destroy the most hectares of forest by fire They lead us to a situation that “unless our ecosystems are renewed.” «Landscape management policies must be put in place to help our forests adapt to the climate. If we don’t do this, the great fire will continue until someone wins, and it will be a fire.”
is the solution for Castellanou New Forest Management Policy It serves to adapt and preserve our ecosystem in the face of the climate of the Iberian Peninsula, which is different from the time when a large part of the Spanish population was born.
“We have to manage our forests, that they are healthy and that they are mature and diverse ecosystems. The School of Forestry Engineering knows how to do this, forestry is a well-known science. In the early 20th century, Spain tried and succeeded in reclaiming its forests., And Spain of the 21st century needs to consider making its forests climate-resilient, and we can get it. We were the one country that was able to demonstrate in the early 20th century that they could do it and we went from being a country without forests to being a country with forests, as we are now. So we can adapt our forests to climate change, the wisdom we have is to say: we have to go down that path,” he says.
Fires have changed, their nature has evolved due to increase in temperature and socio-demographic changes which have led to the abandonment of rural areas. They have arrived in Spain (…)