Turkey is at risk of becoming a “disease-prone desert” with water resources and forests disappearing, Professor Mikdat Kadıoğlu from the Istanbul Technical University’s Meteorological Engineering Department said 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,” Kadıoğlu said, speaking after 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 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,” Kadıoğlu said, 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 due to a combination of increasing temperatures, drought and excessive abstraction of water for agriculture, the Istanbul-based Society for the Protection of Nature (DHKD), a conservation non-governmental organization, stated on March 25.