Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

Temperatures increase much faster than global average in the Mediterranean region

Temperatures are rising much faster than the global average in the region of the Mediterranean Sea, and this represents a threat to the food and water resources of the region, researchers have warned in a new study.

“We are one of the regions most impacted by climate change worldwide,” said Nasser Kamel, secretary general of the Union for the Mediterranean, presenting the study by the organisation called Mediterranean Experts on Climate and Environmental Change (MedECC).

The region of the Mediterranean Sea covers portions of three continents, Europe, Asia and Africa. It is characterised by mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. Relative to the pre-industrial period, temperatures in the region have increased by 1.5 degrees Celsius, which exceeds the global average of 1.1 degrees.

According to the researchers’ forecast, the average temperature of the region will have risen by 2.2 degrees Celsius by 2040, and in some parts of the region the increase may reach 3.8 degrees by the middle of the century. In addition, droughts
will become more regular and intense.

In parallel with growing temperatures, rainfall will decline in the decades to come. In some areas, for instance in the Balkans and in Turkey, precipitation may drop by up to 30 percent, while heavy rains may become more frequent.

The number of people considered water poor was estimated at 180 million in 2013, but this figure is expected to reach or even exceed 250 million over the next two decades. Crops will also be threatened by soil deterioration, droughts and heat waves, while marine wildlife will be jeopardised by overfishing and the disappearance of some species caused by warming seas.

Rising temperatures and shortage of precipitation contributes to aridification, which threatens the region’s food and water resources Photo: Shutterstock

Source: MTI – Hungarian News Agency

Further information: Phys.org

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