Climate change affects Argentine Patagonia

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Climate change is affecting Patagonia region in southern Argentina, where the average temperature has risen almost one degree in the past five decades, the Argentine National Meteorological Service (NMS) said on Monday.

The NMS said that a latest research showed "the biggest increases in the mean minimum temperature since 1961 have been detected in the Patagonian cordillera, Cuyo and northwest Argentina."

"In Patagonia, Cuyo, the northwest and part of the coast, there has been an increase in the mean annual temperature over the past 52 years, where the most significant readings range between 0.5 and 1 degree Celsius, a warming that is most notable in spring and summer," said Jose Stella, an expert at the NMS Weather Department.

According to Stella, global warming is the main reason that leads to the rise of mean annual temperature.

Meanwhile, temperatures have risen systematically across Argentina as some cities registered higher than normal temperatures in June and July.

Matilde Rusticucci, director of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires, said the increase is mainly observed in the variation of extreme temperature readings which means the minimum temperatures are continually higher.

In Buenos Aires, the temperature is expected to reach a maximum of 33 degrees Celsius on Wednesday while the winter is not over yet in the southern hemisphere.

Esquel, a city located 1,450 km southwest of Buenos Aires, at the base of the Andean mountain range, registered the hottest June in 52 years.

Stella said, "in some places, the temperature was two degrees higher than average."

Rusticucci warned that it has been "proven that in one or two days the death toll from a heat wave can double due to high minimum and high maximum temperatures."

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