Posts Tagged ‘Climate change in the Sierra Nevada’

Sierra Nevada selected for world climate change studies

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

The Sierra Nevada is one the most vulnerable sites in Europe to climate change  thanks to its position between the Europe and Africa, between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and because of its mountainous nature, with huge changes in habitat in just a few kilometres. The Park’s Observatorio de Cambio Global (above photo) has now been  selected by Unesco as one of ten sites in the world for its climate change studies. Temperatures are expected to rise by 2 degrees in the next 40 years with a fall in rainfall if 10%, reducing significantly the amount of snow with serious affects on the ski industry, irrigtation and biodiversity. El País

The Sierra Nevada is one of the most important biodiversity hotspots in Europe. All five of Spain’s bioclimatic zones are present here from Mediterranean up to crioromediterraneo, supporting up to 2,100 plant species of the total of 7,000 recorded for Spain. The fact that the whole of the British Isles only support some 1,900 plants will give you some idea of why botanists get so excited about the place. More

See also (2004)

The unique plant communities of the high Sierra Nevada appear to be under threat from rising temperatures. According to the Andalucian government, a rise of 1.2ºC has been detected in the province of Granada over the last 20 years, which although not much in itself has been enough to endanger 65 endemic plants, most of which are only to be found in the highest altitudes of the range. Like its African and Andean counterparts, the pseudo-alpine habitat, known cumbersomely as crioromediterraneo in Spanish, is extremely sensitive to changing temperatures, and gradually plants are being forced ever higher in search of cold enough conditions. More