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POLLUTION

‘Barcelona will be under water in 5,000 years’

A study by National Geographic has warned that the Catalan capital and numerous other parts of Spain will cease to exist if CO2 emissions continue to melt the Arctic ice caps.

'Barcelona will be under water in 5,000 years'
Photo: Screenshot of National Geographic's interactive map showing how Europe will look in 5000 years if all the Artic ice caps melt.

Under the title "If all the ice melted", the natural science publication has forewarned readers of what the world will look like in five millennia if current pollution trends continue.

Their interactive map shows how coastal locations worldwide will bear the brunt of our wrongdoings.

Key cities like London, Venice, Amsterdam, Miami, Copenhagen and New York will become futuristic versions of Atlantis.

Huge parts of Germany, China, Brazil and Australia will be under water.

Bangladesh, a country now inhabited by 154 million people, would disappear altogether.

As for Spain, the areas worst affected by the potential 65-metre (216 feet) sea rise are the Costa Brava and Costa Blanca, where cities like Barcelona, Valencia and Alicante lie.

Half of the Balearic Islands, including Majorca, would be flooded over.

The coast of Cádiz would also be greatly affected and the port city which goes by the same name and also Huelva would be a distant memory.

Even Gibraltarians would have to climb on to their ‘rock’ to save themselves from rising sea levels.

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POLLUTION

Greenpeace sounds alarm over Spain’s ‘poisonous mega farms’

The “uncontrolled” growth of industrial farming of livestock and poultry in Spain is causing water pollution from nitrates to soar, Greenpeace warned in a new report on Thursday.

Greenpeace sounds alarm over Spain's 'poisonous mega farms'
Pollution from hundreds of intensive pig farms played a major role in the collapse of Murcia Mar Menor saltwater lagoon. Photo: JOSEP LAGO / AFP

The number of farm animals raised in Spain has jumped by more than a third since 2015 to around 560 million in 2020, it said in the report entitled “Mega farms, poison for rural Spain”.

This “excessive and uncontrolled expansion of industrial animal farming” has had a “serious impact on water pollution from nitrates”, it said.

Three-quarters of Spain’s water tables have seen pollution from nitrates increase between 2016 and 2019, the report said citing Spanish government figures.

Nearly 29 percent of the country’s water tables had more than the amount of nitrate considered safe for drinking, according to a survey carried out by Greenpeace across Spain between April and September.

The environmental group said the government was not doing enough.

It pointed out that the amount of land deemed an “area vulnerable to nitrates” has risen to 12 million hectares in 2021, or 24 percent of Spain’s land mass, from around eight million hectares a decade ago, yet industrial farming has continued to grow.

“It is paradoxical to declare more and more areas vulnerable to nitrates”, but at the same time allow a “disproportionate rise” in the number of livestock on farms, Greenpeace said.

Pollution from hundreds of intensive pig farms played a major role in the collapse of one of Europe’s largest saltwater lagoons, the Mar Menor in Spain’s southeast, according to a media investigation published earlier this week.

Scientists blamed decades of nitrate-laden runoffs for triggering vast blooms of algae that had depleted the water of the lagoon of oxygen, leaving fish suffocating underwater.

Two environmental groups submitted a formal complaint in early October to the European Union over Spain’s failure to protect the lagoon.

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