The Spanish Mediterranean coastline is “highly exposed” to climate change and rising sea levels, experts have warned in a conference on climate change held this week in Gijon, Cantabria.
The La Manga strip of the Mar Menor, the Ebro River Delta, and the beaches of Murcia (Costa Calida) and Alicante (Costa Blanca) were identified as the most vulnerable areas at risk from sea levels that are forecast to rise by 12cm over the next 40 years.
The number of tourists holidaying on the coast are expected to fall as the surface area of Spain’s beaches shrinks. Thanks to the wall of cement in the shape of blocks of apartments that have been built along most of the Spanish Mediterranean coastline the beach has nowhere to go as water levels rise. Spain’s beaches are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.
At some point the government will have to decide whether to protect buildings in vulnerable areas from flooding, or abandon them to the rising sea, argues Iñigo Losada, and expert who has written a report for the government on the impact of climate change on the Spanish coast.