MADRID, May 5 — The extreme heat that engulfed the Iberian peninsula and parts of north Africa last week would have been “almost impossible without climate change,” an international scientific study found today.

The “exceptional early heatwave” involved “local temperatures up to 20 degrees hotter than normal and April records being broken by up to 6 degrees,” said the report by the World Weather Attribution (WWA), whose scientists study the link between extreme weather events and climate change.

A mass of hot, dry warm air from North Africa reached the Iberia peninsula early last week, driving temperatures to record highs for April, with the mercury hitting 38.8 degrees Celsius in southern Spain and 36.9°C in central Portugal.

Such temperatures only tend to occur in July.


In Morocco, local records were broken with temperatures soaring above 41°C in some places, while in Algeria, they exceeded 40°C.

“Human-caused climate change made the record-breaking heatwave in Spain, Portugal, Morocco and Algeria at least 100 times more likely and the heat would have been almost impossible without climate change,” the WWA report found. — AFP