Sunday, September 21, 2008

Turkey begins to grapple with adaptation

Today’s Zaman (Turkey): Even though the first-ever comprehensive study on climate change in Turkey has shown alarming results, Turkish institutions have neither adopted significant measures nor produced more studies to better understand the phenomenon.

According to projections made by İstanbul Technical University's Eurasia Institute of Earth Sciences (EIES), most of Turkey in the last 10 years of this century will face drastically increased temperatures. This is especially true for summer months, when thermometers show an increase of between three and five degrees Celsius depending on the region compared to the period between 1961 and 1990.

However, Professor Nüzhet Dalfes, who is among the scientists who prepared the climate change report for Turkey, says we should expect confusing signals over the next 20-30 years, as there will be years when there is more rain and there will be other years when there are more days of hot weather. He said nobody should be fooled by a few years of variation in rainfall or hot spells and people should not conclude that "global warming is a joke" nor that "the climate has changed and it is going to destroy the world," because the important thing is the long-term trends.

….Thanks to a grant from the Spanish government to further the United Nation’s “millennium development goals,” Turkey will have a chance to improve its capacity to understand climate change, its effects and the measures necessary to combat it. Turkey is to receive $7.5 million as part of the project, titled “Enhancing the capacity of Turkey to adapt to climate change.”

Developed by the UN country team in Turkey, the program has noted: “As part of the southern belt of Mediterranean Europe, the country is already facing an observed warming trend in temperatures and a decreasing trend in precipitation. … Economic losses from flooding and landslides as a proportion of GDP [gross domestic product] have historically been among the highest in Turkey compared to other countries in Europe and the CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States].”….

Topographical map of Turkey, rendered by Captain Blood, Wikimedia Commons, under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

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