A Research paper published in the international scientific journal Atmospheric Research points out that the most significant changes will take place in the central and eastern regions of the Iberian Peninsula and that on the Mediterranean coast and Pyrenees the intensity of heat waves may increase by 150 percent.

These phenomena are also expected to cover increasingly larger areas, increasing at a rate of between 6 percent and 8 percent per decade, which will subject more and more people to heat, increase the consumption of energy for air conditioning and increase the risk of fire, predict the scientists.

When analyzing heat waves, scientists look at four parameters, the frequency, duration, intensity and extent of territory that they affect, but in this investigation they also studied the so-called excess heat factor, which is related to the effect of temperature on the human body.

The excess heat index can be used to make decisions that reduce the negative impacts of heat waves on public health or other factors, such as agriculture, forests and energy.

Between 1971 and 2000, the average length of hot flashes increased by 1.71 percent per decade and the maximum length increased by 4.3 percent every ten years.

The trend is expected to continue in the near future and studies point to a significant increase in the intensity, frequency, duration and extent of Iberian heat waves in this century.