Average air temperatures have been increasing in Portugal since 1970, increases that reached 2,3 degrees Celsius (ºC) in the last five years, indicate statistics released today, World Environment Day.
The analysis shows that, compared with the reference value, obtained by the average of the period 1971-2000, there was an increase in temperature in all measuring stations, with the exception of Viana do Castelo, with frequent deviations from plus 1ºC to plus 2,3, XNUMXºC.
On the occasion of World Environment Day, Pordata, the statistical database of the Francisco Manuel dos Santos Foundation, in collaboration with the Portuguese Environment Agency, made a portrait of the country's evolution in various environmental issues.
The numbers show, for example, that the cities of Bragança, Castelo Branco, Lisbon and Beja had, last year, the highest average temperatures of the last 50 years.
Comparing the average temperature in the 70s with that of the 2010-2019 decade, the temperature difference in Porto, Beja, Faro and Funchal, was at least 1,5°C.
Regarding precipitation, the numbers do not reveal major differences, with periods of little rain occurring regularly between 1960 and 2022.
The numbers analyzed also confirm the known information that 99% of tap water in Portugal is safe for consumption, an evolution since the mid-1990s, when only half of the tap water was of good quality.
The same in relation to beach waters, with 92% of coastal beaches presenting, in 2021, excellent water quality, above the 88% of the European average. But bathing waters from Croatia (99%), Malta (97%), Greece (96%) or Spain (95%) are better. Italy and France are worse positioned than Portugal.
Regarding protected land areas, Portugal is below the European average, with 22,4% of the territory protected, against 26% in the EU. In the total of the 27 EU countries, there are more than one million square kilometers of protected land areas, which corresponds approximately to the area of Spain and France. In 2021, Portugal had 21 thousand square kilometers with a protection regime.
Regarding protected marine sites, the extension almost tripled from 2012 to 2021, reaching today an area equivalent to the Iberian Peninsula.
Portugal, in the same period, more than quintupled, having the third largest protected marine area in the European Union, after France and Spain, but which still corresponds to only 4,5% of the Exclusive Economic Zone of Portugal. Organizations linked to the environment have often warned that it is not enough to create marine protected areas on paper and that it is necessary to effectively protect them.