Mallorcan beaches like Es Trenc facing threat of rising sea levels. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


Manuel Vargas, a physicist at the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO), has stated that the 30ºC recorded on the surface of the Mediterranean Sea in the area between Murcia and the Balearics is a record temperature.

The normal temperature in this area is between 26 and 27 degrees, which can rise to 28 degrees in warm years or drop to 26 degrees in cold years, but the 30 degrees recorded by satellites over the past few days is something that has never happened before and represents a one-off phenomenon in this marine heat wave at this time of year.

He explained that every century the surface temperature of the Mediterranean rises by one degree, and that in the depths it rises a few tenths, from 12.7 to 12.8, because the volume of water there is such that the increase is less than that which is being recorded on the surface, but he warned that although it is minimal, it is more worrying because in the long term it could dilate and increase in volume, with the consequent rise in sea level.

Apart from this one-off increase in temperature, what worries experts most is an underlying trend in recent years that indicates that sea temperatures are getting higher and higher.
In the case of the Mediterranean, in addition to temperature, an increase in salinity has been observed.

The IEO carries out measurement campaigns in the Mediterranean four times a year in which, in addition to temperature and salinity, they observe chemical and biological variables such as the concentration of nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorous or silicon).

They have been taking measurements since 1992 and archaeological data since 1914, when this institution was founded, the most reliable being those measured since 1945.