MADRID, March 11 (Xinhua) -- A report published on Sunday shows that global warming has already become a reality in nearly every Spanish city, where average temperatures have risen by around one degree centigrade and considerably more in some cases.
The report "De-carbonization in Spain" was published by Observatory of Sustainability (Observatorio de Sostenibilidad), a Spain-based research institute that was established in 2005.
The report used data from Spanish Meteorological Agency (AEMET), which was collected from 52 Spanish cities and dated back at least 30 years.
The data shows that the average urban temperature in Spain has risen by almost 1 degree centigrade from 15.10 degrees centigrade for the period 1988 to 1992, to 16.06 degrees centigrade for the period 2014 to 2018.
However, within this average increase of 0.96 degrees centigrade, there are some worrying variations with some cities suffering increases well above that level.
The highest average increase has been experienced in the city of Ciudad Real in central Spain, where the average temperature rose by 3.6 degrees centigrade, while in the city of Cuenca, also located in central of Spain, the temperature has risen by 2.9 degrees centigrade.
It has got considerably hotter in the capital city of Madrid, where the inhabitants have experienced a temperature increase of 2.4 percent on average, while Castellon on the east coast of Spain and Spain's southern city Granada, have seen thermometers climb by an average of 2.3 degrees centigrade, while there has been a 1.89 degree increase in Barcelona.
"Urban areas have grown considerably in the last 40 or 50 years and that can cause an island heat effect," explained AEMET investigator Yolanda Luna in the El Pais newspaper, adding "you modify the terrain and fill it with buildings and asphalt and then with cars, heaters and air-conditioning units."
However, she explained that not all the temperature increases were down to urbanization because "the city of Madrid has heated up at the same level as the rest of the region."
Meanwhile, Fernando Prieto from the Observatory of Sustainability said "cities in general are not adopting the necessary measures in the face of rising temperatures, such as building green belts, incorporating water..."
Prieto warned that the "worst impact is suffered by the weakest people, when a heatwave comes we see rising mortality among people who are chronically ill and the old."