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Expert warns climate change increasing risk of coastal flooding in Spain

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-12-12 09:46
People cool-off in the Mediterranean sea in Calella, Spain, on July 24, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

BARCELONA, Spain - Climate change and increasing sea levels in the Mediterranean Sea is increasing the risk of coastal flooding in Spain, an expert has said.

The most vulnerable areas are the Ebro Delta in Catalonia and Donana in the Andalusia region of Spain.

"What we have here in the Ebro Delta is a clear retreat of the delta, its fauna, its flora and also of its economy," geologist and professor at the University of Barcelona, Jordi Vila, told Xinhua.

A study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found that Spain is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change and with the highest risk of coastal flooding.

The Iberian Peninsula is a particularly vulnerable territory due to its 10,000 kilometers of coastline and geographic location in the Mediterranean Sea, where the temperature rises 20 percent faster than the world average, according to the IPCC study.

Jordi Vila said the effects of climate change in Spain are having a quicker impact than expected and that if sea levels continue to rise at this pace, territories like the Ebro Delta "will be completely flooded" and disappear.

A study by Climate Central, an independent organization of scientists and journalists researching on climate change, has also forecasted that over 200,000 people in Spain will be affected by coastal flooding by 2050 and 340,000 in 2100.

"We are in a severe climate emergency," said Vila. "We tend to rebuild destruction, but what we must do is prevent destruction in order to survive in territories at risk," he added.

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