Professor says climate change putting Turkey at risk of becoming a “disease-prone desert”

Professor says climate change putting Turkey at risk of becoming a “disease-prone desert”
The lake of Ataturk Dam, a zoned rock-fill dam built during the 1980s on the Euphrates River in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey.
By bne IntelliNews April 20, 2018

Turkey is at risk of becoming a “disease-prone desert” with water resources and forests disappearing, Hurriyet Daily News reported Professor Mikdat Kadioglu from Istanbul Technical University’s Meteorological Engineering Department as saying on April 19. 

“We are transforming into a desert climate. [In this climate] there is usually little or irregular rainfall and high evaporation due to the heat,” Kadioglu reportedly said on the sidelines of a conference on air quality in Istanbul. “Of course, that process is diminishing our water resources and depleting our forests. It is also causing the insect population to rise and increases the risk of transmitting of diseases from animals such as ticks,” he added.

The newspaper reported that Turkey’s General Directorate of Meteorology recently announced its predictions for summer 2018, painting an alarming picture. Temperatures will be up to 2 degrees Celsius degrees higher than average this summer, the directorate stated on April 17.

“It’s the same story almost every year,” Kadioglu was quoted as saying, adding that Turkey is facing the impact of climate change not just in summers but throughout the year. “This shows us the reality of climate change. Because of this rainfall decreases, and Turkey already receives little rainfall in summertime,” he added.

About half of the wetlands in Turkey have dried up in the last 40 years. That has been blamed on a combination of rising temperatures, drought and the excessive abstraction of water for agriculture, the Istanbul-based Society for the Protection of Nature (DHKD), a conservation non-governmental organisation, stated on March 25.

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