Friday, September 25, 2009

Flash floods in Turkey signals global warming is rearing head in Middle East region

Maurice Picow in Green Prophet: World climate change issues are being felt closer to home with recent disastrous flash flooding occurring in parts of Greece and Western Turkey. Some of these floods have been so bad that many are saying that they are the worst in years, with the heaviest rains in more than eight decades falling in and near Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul.

So far, property damage alone in areas near Istanbul is estimated to be more than $ 100 million, and several people have been killed, including seven women who were in a minibus that was swept way during a flash flood. Is global warming to blame?

The downpours come after some of Turkey’s worst drought conditions in years, as we have noted in a previous Green Prophet piece on Turkey which explores how Turkey’s water reserves have been seriously depleted due to lack of adequate rainfall –– believed to be partially been attributed to climate change.

Now, in the country’s western provinces, the exact opposite is true with too much water causing serious property and crop damage; not to mention displacement of people and even loss of life. Even the capital, Ankara, is not immune to this problem, with many low-lying areas in danger of flooding. The current opening of the UN General Assembly in New York has also been an opportunity for leaders of the more developed nations to meet each other and discuss some of the problems dealing with climate change….

A 2006 flood in Side, Turkey, shot by Erik1980, Wikimedia Commons, under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

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