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Portuguese physicist admits 2019 “at the level of the warmer years”

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The meteorological physicist Rui Salgado, from the University of Évora, admitted today that 2019 could be “a year at the level of the hottest since there are records,” not only in Portugal but at planet level.

If we see the evolution of the planet’s temperature, the last four years, between 2015 and 2018, were those in which average temperatures were higher since there were records,” told the Institute of Earth Sciences ) of the University of Évora (UÉ).

According to the meteorological physicist, evolution shows that global warming is occurring and that there is a tendency for continuity.

The month of January of this year and it was not only in Portugal that this happened was the second hottest in global terms since there are records”, the reason why “everything indicates that this year will be at the level of the warmest years since there are registries “warned Rui Salgado.

Asked today about the drought that once again affects Portugal, the UÉ researcher said that “the trend seems to be this” as 2019 could turn out to be particularly hot in the country and in the world.

Rui Salgado also said that, contrary to the projections for temperature, which “are quite consensual” among scientists that they are “experiencing a period of climate change,” as for precipitation “the signals are more contradictory.

Projections for changes in the precipitation field are very variable across the globe,” he said, however, pointing out that for the Mediterranean zone “all point to a decrease in precipitation, particularly in spring and summer, although at this time it is almost nonexistent, therefore, it is lower or not relevant.

As for Portugal, according to the same climate projections, Alentejo “is the region that will be most affected in terms of precipitation reduction“, stressed the UÉ professor.

There is a global trend,” which is what “the most recent studies indicate,” that in Alentejo, “in addition to the increase in temperature, there will be a decrease in precipitation and, therefore, an increase in the probability of droughts,” he said.

But, he warned, “we can not say, in a simple way, cause and effect that the fact that we are dry this year and that we have been in a drought for two years” that droughts are already increasing in the territory: “We have had many droughts and very strong, for example in the 1940s” of the last century, he recalled.

More than half of the continent’s territory (57%) is in moderate drought, 5% in severe drought in the West Algarve, and 38% in a weak drought, the Minister of Agriculture, Capoulas Santos, announced on the 20th of this month that the situation is worrying, but it is still far from what happened in 2017.

This year is being “abnormally dry and hot,” but it is still expected to rain more in the month of April, Capoulas Santos said.

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