The disappearance of the Cantabrian Sea, an example of what awaits us if we do not stop climate change

The disappearance of the Cantabrian Sea, an example of what awaits us if we do not stop climate change

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By Khristina Santos *

Temperatures are always changing, but in the last century they have risen steadily. And that is dangerous. NASA has already confirmed that the last 15 years have been the hottest in history, and 2017 has all the earmarks of surpassing the rest. [I]

While this translates into natural disasters in India, or the loss of 2 trillion tons of ice in Greenland, we also have something to worry about in our country. And it is that, although it does not seem so,Spain is one of the European countries most affected by climate change.

Due to our climate and agricultural tradition, we are very vulnerable to the consequences of rising temperatures. And some areas more than others! Cantabria, for example, due to its geographical location, is highly exposed to the negative effects of climate change.

According to the Department of Climate Change of Cantabria, the average temperature of the place could increase up to 4ºC, and many rivers and forests could be in danger, and that the sea level could rise. With the smallest rise in water level,almost half of the Cantabrian beaches would disappear, the risk of flooding on the coast would increase, and different aquifers and agricultural soils would be contaminated. [ii]

At the same time, several species would disappear. Not only marine fauna, such as fish, birds and plants, but also terrestrial animals such as the brown bear or the grouse, symbolic of Cantabria and very vulnerable to changes in temperatures.

In the last thirty years, in fact, the temperature of the water in the Cantabrian Sea has increased by almost 1ºC on average, triggering a process of deforestation of crown algae, marine equivalents of trees. These algae help absorb carbon dioxide (key in the fight against climate change) and maintain a healthy population of fish. Without them, we may soon say goodbye to species such as sardines or bonito!

On the other hand, the risk of fires would increase, along with the landslides on the Cantabrian slopes, and although there would be less rainfall, there would also be stronger storms causing major flooding.

All thisIt is not only a problem for the environment, but also for people. Even the tourism industry in Cantabria would be harmed by rising temperatures and rising sea levels on the coasts.

There are many academics and scientists who are warning about the situation. José Ramón Díaz, professor at the University of Cantabria, declared more than a decade ago that climate change in Spain “is serious, and I foresee that the intensities of the storms will increase and their effects will be more damaging and catastrophic.It is not necessary for many years to pass. We will see it”[Iii] As predicted, we are already seeing it.

It is crucial that Spain joins the global efforts not to exceed the 1.5ºC increase in temperatures, as agreed in the Paris Agreement two years ago.

To save the Cantabrian Sea and many other areas that will be affected, we must move towards a sustainable future, starting by reducing subsidies for fossil fuels and investing in a 100% renewable energy model, eliminating current legal and economic obstacles.

It is imperative to bet on the energy revolution to avoid catastrophes both nationally and globally. The solution is in our hands.

* environmental writer and eco-blogger behind La Vida Uve.


Video: Is an Ice Age Coming? Space Time. PBS Digital Studios (June 2022).


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