The easing of winter temperatures will affect the cultural tourism


  • Sergio Alonso, researcher at IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB), assure that turism will be much less seasonal 


Throughout the century, the Alps will become a good place to play golf and the Bay of Biscay, a sun and beach destination comparable to today's Mediterranean coast. These predictions are from a research project which links climate change and tourism. Its  manager is Sergio Alonso, professor of Meteorology at the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB), researcher at the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (CSIC-UIB) and member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC). This is one of the most prominent Spanish scientists on climate change, has recently published the book ¿Hablamos del cambio climático? (Shall we talk about climate change?) and visited Salamanca to offer a research seminar organized by the Institute for Science and Technology (eCyT) at the University of Salamanca.

His most recent work focuses on climate change impacts in Europe for all kinds of tourist activities, from hiking to cultural tourism. For example, the expected increase in temperatures will cause in areas with continental climate "cold waves will be less frequent, less extreme minimum temperatures and winter will be eased," said in a statement to DiCYT.

That's what climate models project, but their work includes socio-economic conclusions and it seems that higher temperatures could discourage tourism in Spain in summer, but contribute to a "seasonal adjustment", it means that the visits could increase in other seasons. However, he warned that scientifically the term "climate" refers to average environmental conditions, which has nothing to do with what happens during a particular winter. That is, you can not use this cold snap to question climate change caused by man, a fact that has been proven scientifically. 

Evidence of human influence "Climate change has always existed, but now is happening for other reasons, we have evidence that is being produced by human activity and we have evidence that over the life of a person you can see those changes," says . The scientific evidence is in the models to simulate the climate. "In a model tell you how you should treat human activity and plays very well what happened to the planet's climate. If after I take off in the model this activity, it tells me what would happen in the world without man. The result is that from mid-twentieth century is detectable the impact that human activity is producing, "said Alonso.
In fact, "everyone agrees that the temperatures of Venus are the result of the greenhouse effect because they are very high with respect to which should have for his position towards the Sun, however, some do not support the same physical principle to explain what happens on Earth. "So critical to talk about the weather as he discusses football, when in fact there is scientific certainty to be referred. 

terminological problems 

In his opinion, one problem is terminology. For example, "global warming" is a mistake as a term. "Some people think that global warming means that everything heats up and warms all alike," says the professor, but actually one of the forecasts is that a long period of time (thousands of years) will bring results in the disappearance of a warm current from the Gulf of Mexico that helps to soften the climate of Europe. This would result in a decrease in long-term temperature in the Old Europe, although on the whole planet, in fact, increase the heat.

After being involved in some climate summit, believes that these meetings have become political failures. "From a scientific point of view are desperate, because scientists and technicians have things clear, but politicians do not realize that the longer it takes to implement methods to tackle climate change, the cost will be much higher. "urgent action is needed," says Alonso.

Source and pictures: DiCYT