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Posts tagged Madeira Archipelago

Climate Change Risks for Madeira Archipelago

32.7N 16.9W

June 25th, 2013 Category: Climate Change VIIRSSuomi-NPP

Canada – June 25th, 2013

Climate change can have severe effects on the natural environment, including water resources and ecosystems. Islands are unique systems more vulnerable to climate change than continental areas. Madeira, an Atlantic subtropical island (image center), has a quite unique flora and fauna and is considered a biodiversity ‘hot-spot’.

The lower altitudes of Madeira are predominantly occupied by urban areas and agricultural crops; exotic forest plantations are widespread at low- to mid-altitudes. The native forest, Laurissilva, an extremely important and rare ecosystem, occurs up to 1450 m and is replaced in higher altitudes by heaths and other altitude vegetation.

Future climatic scenarios project reduced rainfall and higher average temperatures across Madeira. The potentially suitable area for the main agricultural crops is expected to expand in altitude. Suitable area for the exotic forests and the Laurissilva is expected to increase as the expansion in altitude will be greater than the retraction in lower reaches.

The suitable climatic range for heaths will suffer a severe reduction: it is expected to retract in lower reaches but cannot expand in altitude because it is predominantly in the higher elevations already. These shifts in habitat distributions may translate into large changes in ecosystem services supply. Altitude species, including endemic and rare ones, may suffer range reductions or even disappear (click here for more information).

Dust Blowing Over Canary Islands and Madeira Archipelago

32.7N 16.9W

June 28th, 2012 Category: Dust Storms

Spain and Morocco – June 26th, 2012

Dust from the Sahara Desert blows off the coast of Mauritania, Western Sahara and Morocco, over the Canary Islands and the Madeira Archipelago (north of the former), and far north over the Atlantic Ocean. Here, the dust appears thickest in the lower left quadrant and just north of the Madeira Archipelago. Although the dust does not reach the Iberian Peninsula, it is not far from the coast, and some can be seen blowing towards the Strait of Gibraltar.