Last weeks news was dominated by the extreme weather we have been having in Turkey. If you missed the news you can click on the link below to have a read of what’s been happening.

Fethiye Times News – Week Ending 26 January 2019

Here at Fethiye Times, we decided to have a closer look at the changes in the weather.

Is The Climate Changing?

Our climate is changing. Most visibly, the air is getting warmer and global surface temperature has increased nearly 1℃ since the beginning of the twentieth century.

As global temperatures increase, several changes occur:

  • Sea and land ice melt, and sea levels rise
  • Snow cover shrinks, and snow melts earlier
  • The temperature of the oceans increase
  • Droughts and storms become stronger
  • The warm season extends, more heat waves and wildfires occur
  • Plants and animals migrate or may become extinct

These changes have already affected human life directly by changing the environment they are exposed to.

The greenhouse effect

The greenhouse effect is a warming of Earth’s surface and the air above it. It is caused by gases in the air that trap energy from the Sun. These heat-trapping gases are called greenhouse gases. The most common greenhouse gases are water vapor, carbon dioxide, and methane.

Turkey is the world’s 20th largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

The Turkish economy and the nation’s demand for energy have been growing rapidly, trends that are set to continue. With its expanding energy needs mostly being met by fossil fuels – in particular, coal for generating electricity – Turkey’s emissions are set to rise significantly. However, it has promised some efforts to constrain its emissions growth.
Extreme weather conditions - climate change and it's effect on Turkey

Ironically, the effects are forecast to affect Turkey more severely than many other countries.

Climate change in Turkey

In Turkey we can expect to see, and in fact are already seeing, more extreme weather.

Increasing temperatures

The summers are heating up faster than the other seasons. In 2017, Turkey sweltered through a heatwave from North Africa with temperatures of 44.8°C (with a RealFeel* temperature of 49°C due to humidity) recorded in Antalya.

*The AccuWeather RealFeel® temperature uses multiple factors including the temperature, humidity, cloud cover, sun intensity, and wind to explain how hot it feels outside. In comparison, the heat index only factors in the temperature and humidity.

Extreme weather conditions - climate change and it's effect on Turkey
Image courtesy of AccuWeather

This may be good news for sun-worshipping holidaymakers but it isn’t so good for agricultural areas, particularly rain fed crops.

Agriculture is expected to be severely affected after the late 2030s. Arid and semi-arid areas are at risk of desertification.

Wildfires

The increase in temperatures have led to hot, dry conditions that cause  an increase in wildfires, destroying the ecosystem and habitats of many species of wildlife.

“6,200 hectares of forest land have been burned in 1,132 fires in 2017 alone,” said Minister of Forestry and Water Affairs Veysel Eroğlu as he was visiting the forest lands that were turned into ashes in different fires in the western province of İzmir.

In July 2018, a villager burnt to death and dozens were left homeless as a major forest fire raged in the province of Antalya

Fethiye Times News – Week Ending 28 July 2018

Mustafa Kurtulmuslu, deputy general manager of Turkey’s forestry directorate, told Anatolian Agency.

“I have dealt my whole life with fires but I have never seen a sight like this. I can say that we are experiencing a catastrophe”

Thunder and lightning

Along with climate change, studies tie the increase in the number of electromagnetic fields to the rising rate of thunder and lightning around the world,

A total of nine people were reported to have been killed in Turkey due to lightning strikes in one month up to 17 May 2018. Some 26 people were injured and more than 120 animals were also killed by lightning strikes, according to reports from European Lightning Strikes Monitoring System.

Extreme weather conditions - climate change and it's effect on Turkey

On 24 July 2018, the Istanbul region hit was by 43,388 lightning strikes in 24 hours according to the Turkish State Meteorological Service.

Chamber of Meteorological Engineers Vice President Ahmet Köse told Anadolu Agency, “The frequency of floods, storms, whirlwinds and droughts has been increasing due to globalwarming and climate change. The severity and frequency of these kinds of matters have been increasing every year.” 

Flooding

Towns and cities may see an increase in urban heatwaves, droughts, storms and flooding. Sea level rise is forecast to affect city infrastructure, for example Istanbul Kadıköy Metro Station is threatened with flooding.
In November, Bodrum experienced flash floods when it was pounded with hail and heavy rains that swept away cars and left the town underwater.
Extreme weather conditions - climate change and it's effect on Turkey
A street in Bodrum is flooded by heavy rainstorms on Nov. 29, 2018. (AA Photo)

Medicanes

In September 2018, Greece and Turkey were struck by a “medicane”, a combination of Mediterranean and hurricane specific to the Mediterranean region.

A medicane is more of a tropical storm-like cyclone. They form when a non-tropical storm threat feeds off the warm waters of the Mediterranean, then the storm will begin to develop tropical-storm characteristics and strengthens.

Climate change and possible future changes of medicanes are a matter of concern due to their large damage potential.

Extreme weather conditions - climate change and it's effect on Turkey

Turkey battles climate change: Nationwide efforts give hope for the future

Preventing climate change is crucial for Turkey because its region has experienced significantly more drastic rising temperatures when compared to the global scale. Read more…

In our next article we’ll be looking at the things we can do as individuals to combat climate change.

Well, there are 7.7 billion of us on the planet and the current population of Turkey is 82,519,964

Sources: Climate Change in Turkey/Accuweather/Hürriyet Daily News/Carbon Brief/Worldometers/Daily Sabah

Featured image courtesy of islami.co

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