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Turkey Faces Alarming Shift in Temperature Regime Due to Climate Change: Experts Warn of Growing Dangers


According to a report by Cengiz Ozbek on DW Turkish, experts believe that the extreme heat in Turkey is a result of climate change. Climate scientists have warned that if no preventive measures are taken at both the national and global levels, Turkey will face other dangers as well.

Turkey, like many other countries, is struggling with extreme heatwaves this summer. Experts point out that due to climate change, caused by global warming, extreme heatwaves are becoming more frequent in Turkey, leading to a change in the temperature regime.

Responding to questions about the effects of global warming, Professor Dr. Murat Türkeş, a member of the Board of Directors at Boğaziçi University’s Center for Climate Change and Policies, stated that there has been a significant increase in the average highest and lowest temperatures in all cities of Turkey. He emphasized that Turkey is experiencing a more pronounced warming in terms of temperature compared to the rate of global warming.

Moreover, Professor Türkeş mentioned that there is a noticeable increase in the number of hot days above certain threshold values, especially based on the lowest nighttime temperatures, indicating a significant change in the temperature regime in Turkey. He pointed out that Turkey experiences a winter season, but throughout a large part of the year, from mid-spring to mid-autumn, it is almost becoming tropical. In the past 30 years, Turkey has been increasingly affected by tropical systems, and this trend has become more apparent in the last five years.

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According to data from the Turkish State Meteorological Service (MGM), the average temperature in Turkey in 2022 was 14.5 degrees Celsius, which is 0.6 degrees higher than the 1991-2020 average of 13.9 degrees Celsius. MGM also reported that since 2012, average temperatures have been rising in Turkey. Additionally, the annual spatial rainfall measured in 2022 was 503.8 mm, a decrease of 12.1% from the normal and 4% compared to the previous year. The normal rainfall for Turkey, based on the 1991-2020 period, is considered to be 573.4 mm.

Dr. Ümit Şahin, Senior Expert at Sabancı University’s Istanbul Policy Center and Climate Change Coordinator, emphasized that studies show an increase in the number and duration of heatwaves in the Eastern Mediterranean region, including Turkey, since 1971. He warned that if global warming is not halted, Turkey could experience 42 to 78 more extremely hot days per year by the end of the century compared to the average temperatures experienced currently. He attributed these changes to human-induced climate change.

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The report by the World Weather Attribution team, composed of reputable international scientists, highlighted the effects of climate change worldwide. It pointed out that the extreme heatwaves observed in Southern Europe, certain regions of the USA, Mexico, and China this month would have been almost impossible without human-induced climate change. The researchers analyzing the recorded record-breaking temperatures emphasized that human-induced climate change played a significantly large role in these increases. They warned that unless greenhouse gas emissions causing global warming are drastically reduced, the world will face even worse days ahead. Many climate experts believe that July 2023 will be recorded as the hottest month in history.

These changes in Turkey’s temperature regime are affecting various aspects of life. From water shortages to agricultural productivity, from decreasing snowfall to an increase in forest fires and extreme weather events, the impacts of climate change are becoming more evident. The economic consequences are also significant, affecting sectors such as tourism and energy production.

In conclusion, Turkey is facing substantial changes in its temperature regime due to climate change, and urgent actions are required at both national and global levels to mitigate its effects. Failure to take preventive measures will lead to more severe consequences for Turkey, affecting its economy, environment, and public health.

Source: DW Turkish, Cengiz Ozbek.

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