Global warming is affecting Spain more than most other countries in the world due to the country's unique geographical situation, a representative for the Spanish Meteorological Agency (AEMET) has explained to Xinhua.
Ruben del Campo, an AEMET spokesperson, spoke to Xinhua after the agency published the report "State of the Climate in Spain 2019" Thursday.
The report indicated that 2019 -- with an average temperature of 15.9 degrees Celsius -- was the sixth hottest year in the country since records began.
This is 0.8 degrees above the average from the 1981-2010 period and fits in with a trend that has seen eight of the 10 hottest ever years since the start of the century and five of the six hottest years since 2010.
"It's a report that shows 2019, following the trend of the previous years, was very hot, following the clear trend of warming in recent years," explained del Campo, who added that the first five months of 2020 were the warmest ever recorded in Spain and that the current year is on track to be the hottest in history.
Del Campo considers that Spain's geographical situation makes it especially "vulnerable to the consequences of climate change, due to its position, between the Atlantic and the tropics."
And under the double influence of the Atlantic Ocean and the heat of North Africa, Spain is feeling the effects of climate change faster than other places on the planet.
"In the south of Spain, it appears that periods of less rain are getting longer, so Spain is in a vulnerable area for climate change and it is warming up faster than the rest of the planet," he explained, stressing that the average temperature in the country has risen by 0.3 degrees in every decade since the 1960s.
"Spain has seen its average temperature increase by 1.5 degrees, while the rest of the planet has increased by 1.1 degrees," he said.
"Climate-change predictions talk of a situation where droughts will probably be more intense in Spain and we are already seeing that with more days of heatwaves than in the 1980s. We have almost twice as many days which are considered to be heatwaves," warned del Campo.
However, global warming has not just produced more sustained heatwaves in Spain, although the amount of rainfall for the country has remained more or less unchanged, the way the rain falls has also altered both in its distribution and force.
According to del Campo, in 2019 the amount of rain that fell on Spain was "was just below average," and "there were periods of drought mixed with torrential downpours."
"The amount of rain was within the norm, but the distribution was very irregular, with very intense rains in the east and the southeast," he concluded.