The Mediterranean region, which currently faces unprecedented fires in Greece and Turkey, will experience even worse heat waves, droughts and forest fires, warns the UN.

Not being the region of the world that will suffer the greatest increases in temperature, the Mediterranean is qualified as a “hotspot” of climate change in the document of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations, to which the agency France-Presse had access.

With about 500 million inhabitants, the region is threatened by several factors linked to climate change, according to a chapter of the report, whose final version is expected to be adopted in February 2022.

The IPCC is currently examining another report on climate forecasts, which will be released on Monday.

Reasons for concern include risks linked to rising sea levels, loss of terrestrial and marine biodiversity, droughts, forest fires and changes in the water cycle, the threat to food production, health risks in urban and rural settlements. linked to heat waves” and also to mosquitoes that transmit diseases.

According to the IPCC draft text, temperatures are expected to rise faster around the Mediterranean than in the world over the next few decades, with an impact on agriculture, fisheries and tourism.

Tens of millions of people will be affected by increased water shortages, risks of coastal flooding and potentially deadly heat waves, warns the UN body.

Some Mediterranean regions could see their agricultural crops fall by 64% and the area of ​​burned forest will double or triple, depending on the efforts made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The document also concludes that only global warming below 2°C, the objective of the Paris Agreement, “will allow to maintain coastal agglomerations, cultural heritage sites, terrestrial and marine ecosystems in a viable state in most parts of the basin” of the Mediterranean.

Climate warming increases the likelihood of heat waves and droughts and, as a result, fires.

Heat waves are the kind of extreme weather event in which climate change truly changes the rules of the game.”, Oxford University climatologist Friederike Otto told AFP, for whom extreme heat is the biggest threat to the Mediterranean and “from afar the event [climático] deadliest extreme in Europe”.

According to IPCC calculations, up to 93 million additional people could face heat waves on the northern shores of the Mediterranean by 2050.

In the Middle East and North Africa, the risk of elderly people dying from extreme heat could increase between three and 30 times by 2100 and deaths could increase to 20,000 per year in the northern Mediterranean by 2050.

Governments can act against some of the threats, like fire or flooding, but heat is different, warned Ilan Kelman of University College London.

Climate change takes us to levels where we cannot survive. The only option will be to live in climate-controlled spaces 24 hours a day, seven days a week and people cannot afford that. There will be power cuts”, said.

According to Matthew Jones of the Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research, the average number of days the Mediterranean faces conditions favorable to extreme fires has doubled since the 1980s.


Disclaimer: If you need to update/edit/remove this news or article then please contact our support team Learn more