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Climate Change and the Guadalquivir Basin, Spain

36.6N 6.5W

May 30th, 2013 Category: Rivers

Spain – May 30th, 2013

In the Guadalquivir basin, in the southern part of Spain, agriculture is a key economic sector. Due to its privileged agro-climatic conditions, the region grows a wide range of crops, from cereals, oilseeds, sugar-beet and cotton, to varied fruits and horticulture products and olives.

Intensive and extensive productions coexist as well as market-oriented large, medium-size and small farms. However, this highly productive agriculture and its dependant socio-economic structure will be threatened by climate change impacts on water availability and frequency of extreme events such as drought.

The impacts of climate change on the agricultural sector in this region are expected to have large social significance, as this region has the second largest share of agricultural employment in Spain. In consequence, it will be relevant for this region to analyze CC impacts, vulnerability and adaptation strategies across different geographical locations, economic sectors and social groups.

The main issues concerning water management and climate change in this basin are: highly valuable ecosystems threatened by climate change and agricultural activity (Doñana National Park), technical challenges: improving water use technical efficiency (modernization of irrigation techniques), special institutional setting, different from other river basins in Spain, which poses water management under the shared competence of the regional administration and the river basin authority, that can promote mainstreaming of climate change under the water policies (click here for more information).

Phytoplankton Bloom in Bay of Biscay, Near Spain and France

44.9N 4W

May 5th, 2013 Category: Phytoplankton

Bay of Biscay – May 4th, 2013

A large phytoplankton bloom stains the waters of the Bay of Biscay, between Spain (below) and France (upper right), a greenish color. The bloom has been present in this area since mid-April (click here for previous images). The differences in color within the bloom may be an indication of different species of phytoplankton.

Contrails Over the Bay of Biscay, Spain and France – April 17th, 2013

45.1N 3.4W

April 17th, 2013 Category: Clouds, Image of the day

Spain and France – April 17th, 2013

Contrails hang in the air over the Bay of Biscay, between Spain (below) and France (right), creating criss-crossed patterns. Contrails, or condensation trails, usually occur when clouds form around the water vapor left in the air from the exhaust of passing airplanes, although they can also be triggered by the changes in air pressure in wingtip vortices or in the air over the entire wing surface.

Sediments from Guadalquivir River and Climate Change Issues, Spain – April 6th, 2013

36.5N 6.2W

April 6th, 2013 Category: Image of the day, Rivers, Sediments

Spain – April 6th, 2013

The Guadalquivir River is the fifth longest river in the Iberian peninsula and the second longest river with its entire length in Spain. It is 657 kilometers long and drains an area of about 58,000 square kilometers. Here, the river can be seen spilling sediments into the Gulf of Cádiz, northwest of the Strait of Gibraltar. According to scientists, the river shows declines in water quantity and quality due to anthropogenic encroachments and climate change, which is leading to conflicts among stakeholders. The main climate change-related issues are changes in rain patterns, which may cause increased droughts and more torrential rain (click here for more information).

Climate Change and the Iberian Peninsula

40.4N 3.7W

March 22nd, 2013 Category: Climate Change

Spain – March 20th, 2013

This image offers a look at the Iberian Peninsula, with Portugal by the west coast and Spain occupying the rest of the territory. A recent assessment report has found that the southern Iberian Peninsula could be one of the regions most affected by increase in year-to-year variability in summer climates and thus a higher incidence of heat waves and droughts. Mediterranean droughts would start earlier in the year and last longer.

There is also evidence of significant recent range shifts to higher elevation, with some animal species shifting over 200m up in the lower elevational limit due to increased temperature. Treeline has also shifted to higher altitudes due to increased temperature (click here for more information).