The holiday industry has developed the Mediterranean coast into what it is today, and it has undeniably become an icon of British summer, but with news of record high temperatures, wildfires and disappearing beaches, it increasingly seems that the Mediterranean is not only falling out of trend, it’s becoming outright dangerous.
Summer 2023 saw extreme weather events around the world, and record temperatures were reported from France to China. It’s clear that the unnatural temperatures predicted by climate scientists for decades are now well underway, but as climate change ramps up around the globe, things are particularly concerning in the Med. The Mediterranean is perfectly situated in a global warming hotspot and has seen temperatures rise by 1.5 degrees since the 1970s, while the world average has been an increase of 1.1. In addition, while climate scientists predict that in most parts of the world, humidity is set to increase, southern parts of Western Europe are likely to endure a decrease in rainfall of between 10 to 60 percent.
From as early as April of this year, parts of the region broke records with temperatures rising up to 20 higher than seasonal averages, while in summer sea surface temperatures hit 30°C. And things are only going to get worse, as rising sea levels threaten the area’s famous picturesque beaches.
In the Mediterranean, scientists are clear that in the coming decades, tourists and locals alike will endure unbearable heat at best, and life-threatening natural disasters at worst. Tourism sector experts are in consensus that climate change is set to transform the industry in the coming years. It seems that the death of the Mediterranean holiday certainly hasn’t arrived just yet, with tourism sector bosses reporting an increasing preference for off-peak holidays, but it is predicted that numbers will certainly dwindle in the coming decades, if not years. And with high-profile examples of the dangers of a classic sunny, sandy holiday in what appears to be the start of an era of natural disasters – as wildfires in Greece and Spain remain fresh in people’s minds – it’s not difficult to understand why.