Spain's Catalonia Suffering Worst Reported Drought in Decades

Image copyright: BBC

The Facts

  • As wildfires rage across hundreds of acres in the Spanish region of Castellón, researchers are pointing to the country's prolonged drought as the cause. The drought has led to water restrictions for up to 6M people and prompted thousands of evacuations.

  • Parts of Catalonia have not seen rainfall in 2.5 years. In March, the reservoir's water level had dropped to 8% of its capacity — a plummet from 55% a year earlier.

The Spin

Narrative A

Though wildfires are common in Spain during the summer months, their appearance during March is concerning experts who attribute it to climate change. Spain is one of the EU countries most at risk from the climate crisis, and rainfall has dropped by around 35% over the past 50 years. Spain is in for another hot, climate-catalyzed summer.

Narrative B

It's easy to dismiss any extreme weather event as a consequence of climate change, but in reality, they're usually influenced by a myriad of factors that have nothing to do with such beliefs. More research is needed before we can establish any direct causal link between the two.

Nerd narrative

There is a 45% chance that wildfires will destroy a total exceeding 10Mha of global tree cover in any year, by the end of 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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