The Pyrenees more extremely reflect some of the effects of climate change because they are close to the Mediterranean, as explained to Efe, the biologist and ecologist at the Ecological Research Center and Forest Applications (CREAF) and coordinator of the European Scientific Network on Nemor Mountains, Bernat Claramunt.
On the occasion of the celebration, this Saturday, of the International Day of the Mountains, Claramunt, a member of the Scientific Committee of the Pyrenean Observatory of Climate Change, affirms that he has been able to verify on his expeditions the effects of climate change, such as the Loss of snow, lack of water availability or changes in biodiversity.
According to the biologist, the Pyrenees reflect "what will happen in other mountainous areas in a few years", since the consequences of climate change in this border mountain range between France and Spain are more extreme when situated in a warmer climate area.
"Climate change is recent, but we can already see the consequences that it has in the mountains and its biodiversity," he says.
In one of its journeys to the glaciers of the Vignamale massif, located in the Natural Park of the Pyrenees in France, it was able to observe that the size of the glaciers "was becoming smaller, with lower thick," and how each time they have " Less presence in the Pyrenees ".
Claramunt certifies that the increase in global temperature has caused the decrease in glaciers, as well as a lower availability of water in the mountain areas.
According to the expert, although rainfall remains stable, the rise in temperatures causes rainwater "evaporate".
"In addition, the distribution of rainfall is different and, although it rains the same amount, more storms are produced in concrete areas and, consequently, landslides," stands out.
Another consequence of the increase in the current temperature is that the presence of snow in the mountains has decreased.
In fact, the third report on climate change in Catalonia prepared by the Generalitat exhibits that in the year 2050 the amount of snow can be reduced to half as it is currently in the mountain areas.
Claramunt emphasizes that these consequences of climate change have a direct effect on "loss of biodiversity and homogenization of ecosystems".
"Lack of snow and high temperatures cause the forest line to ascend, that is, that forests can be found in areas where there was only meadows," he says.
The Expert in Mountains also points out that "In many cases the tree line changes because traditional livestock practices have been abandoned," which has caused the areas of disused cultivation to be occupied by these species.
In addition, the mountains experience a socioeconomic change that, according to Claramunt, "the pandemic by the Covid has finished consolidating".
"Mountain areas offer practically all ecosystem services, from tangible, such as wood or water, to immaterial, such as leisure and pure air," he recalls.
That is why these areas welcome more and more people who seek an alternative to urban life, "which creates a greater demand for ecosystem services," he warns.
According to the researcher of the CREAF, the intense human presence, the increase in temperatures and the lower availability of water accelerate "a new context in the mountain areas, with new challenges".
In fact, Claramunt affirms that the approach of winter games in the Pyrenees "can be an indicator of the future model that is to be promoted" in the mountainous mountain range.
"With the Games, let's see if it is prioritized that the Pyrenees are a space dedicated to the mostified tourism based on winter sport or if, on the other hand, they focus on exploiting the other riches they have," he concludes.Date Of Update: 11 December 2021, 11:00