Algarve in line for “more deaths as a result of climate change”

A new study has predicted that more people will die in the Algarve as a result of gathering heat waves.

The grim, but already largely-accepted, forecast comes in a document commissioned by AMAL, the association of Algarve municipalities.

Dubbed the “Plano Intermunicipal de Adaptação às Alterações Climáticas” (intermunicipal adaptation plan for climate change, or PIAAC), the study was presented in Faro yesterday.

The bottom line is that climate change is set to affect the southern region dramatically, with more extreme weather phenomena, more deaths due to these phenomena, and less available water (for both consumption and agriculture).

Explains scientific coordinator Luís Dias, the study estimates that “mortality in the Algarve associated with particularly hot events could increase from 2% to 7%, principally in the Sotovento (eastern) Algarve, with Alcoutim being the most worrying situation”.

Rising sea levels will affect a number of areas – the report particularly cites Faro, Quarteira,
Lagos and Tavira – and artificial measures to stem problems will not be enough. Eventually (in roughly 50 years time), populations will have to move further inland.

With natural resources (freshwater particularly) reducing, the PIAAC suggests that construction of a desalination plant will be needed, but not until 2080 – and this is tempered by a ‘worst case scenario’ proviso.

Explain reports, the PIAAC “involved university researchers, mayors and technicians at various public institutions”. It cost 470.000 euros and was financed by the European Cohesion Fund (85%) and Algarve councils (15%).

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