Tuesday, November 5, 2013

'Climate change puts 5 million Israelis at risk of severe flooding events'

Sharon Udasin in the Jerusalem Post: Rising temperatures and climbing sea levels due to climate change could be putting more than five million Israelis at severe risk, a special Environmental Protection Ministry report has indicated. 

The rise of the Mediterranean Sea's levels as well as flooding of rivers alone could gravely impact five million Israelis as water barrels into their communities, the study warned. In addition to the flooding dangers, the conditions could also result in outbreaks of transmissible diseases from pests such as mosquitoes, the report explained. Escalating temperatures combined with population growth will also undoubtedly lead to an increased demand for water from decreasing aquifer supplies. 

The report was assembled at the request of the Environmental Protection Ministry by the Knowledge Center for Climate Change, with researchers from the University of Haifa, Tel Aviv University, the Technion and the Shmuel Neaman Institute for National Policy Research.

"Climate changes have for some time already been no longer just a theoretical threat beyond the horizon – it is much closer and much more real," said Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz. "They are also not inevitable or predestined, but processes that are influenced by the actions and deeds of human beings, and therefore, we must address this issue seriously and comprehensively in order to contribute our part toward coping with this."

Within the report are maps that define in detail areas of cities and exact streets where flooding will likely occur due to the rising sea and river levels. In Tel Aviv, the flooding could reach up to the Ibn Gabriol Street thoroughfare in the city's center, while similar problematic events could affect Akko, Haifa, Bat Yam and several other coastal municipalities, the report warned.  About 2.5 million people are located in these seaside risk prone areas, while another 2.8 million also may be highly in danger due to their proximity to rivers, the study explained....

A flood in Israel, either 2011 or 2012, shot by Lehava Rahat via the PikiWiki - Israel free image collection project, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license

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