In 1982, Scientists Foresaw the Drying of the Mediterranean

May 2, 2023

Above, clips from WRC in Washington DC, 1983, and a 1988 BBC production, point to emerging areas of drought concern due to climate change.

Below, more from Euronews on the current drought situation in Spain and Italy – in which the narrator ominously mentions that Italy’s Po River is dependent on snows in the Alps, snows that we know will only become more unreliable in coming decades.


Standing in his field of stunted, withered maize, Santi Caudevilla is very worried. “If the weather does not change it will be zero. Nothing is going to be harvested,” he said.

Caudevilla, who grows maize, sorghum and other crops in Gimenells in Catalonia, has been hit hard by the severe drought which has hammered this part of northeastern Spain.

Rainfall has been low for years. “We are in a desert. This is a desert today,” he said. 

The lack of water is starting to feel like an existential crisis for farmers such as Caudevilla and he is worried about the future of his profession. It’s becoming increasingly hard to make ends meet as crops shrivel through lack of water – or cannot be planted at all.

Droughts are a fact of life in this corner of Spain. “They are typical of Catalonia’s Mediterranean climate,” said Albert Ruhi, a freshwater ecologist at the University of California, Berkeley, who is originally from Catalonia.

But a significant lack of rain and snow have made this one much, much drier, he told CNN. 

“This is the worst period that we have had for the last 100 years,” Samuel Reyes, director of the Catalan Water Agency, told CNN.


2 Responses to “In 1982, Scientists Foresaw the Drying of the Mediterranean”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    As president of the Syukuro Manabe Fan Club, I’d like to thank you for including that clip.

  2. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    They grow water-greedy rice in Spain? Before the EU spends emergency money on farmers, ask that they stop growing flood irrigation crops.

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