A scientific study has shown that the Mediterranean is getting warmer more quickly than the world’s average

2019 - 10 - 13
A scientific study has shown that the Mediterranean is getting warmer more quickly than the world’s average

In comparison to worldwide average figures, the average temperature is growing 20 percent faster in the region around the Mediterranean Sea. Unless measures for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions are adopted, 250 million people in the region will face droughts and lack of water within twenty years. This is the result of a study carried out by the Mediterranean Institute of Marine and Terrestrial Biodiversity and Ecology.

Scientists consider this study the first comprehensive scientific report on climate change in the Mediterranean. “Never before have we had such a complete synthesis,” Wolfgang Cramer, the study coordinator, said about the eighty-year-long work of about 80 scientists.
Many people in the region are especially vulnerable due to the warming of the climate because they live close to the sea, are often times poor, and cannot therefore protect themselves from the impacts warming has, and cannot move away. The study warns that the area will suffer with more intense heat waves and droughts will be more frequent.

If production of greenhouse gases remained at the same levels as today, scientists believe that the average temperature in the region, compared to the era before the industrial revolution, could increase by 2.2 degrees Celsius by 2040. Today, it is 1.5 degrees higher. The surface of the Mediterranean Sea would rise by a whole metre by 2100. The sea would also make the arable land salty at the estuaries of the Nile, the Po, the Rhone, and the Ebro in the north of Spain.

Scientists also warn of the frequent occurrence of vast fires. According to the most optimistic projections, the area destroyed by flames will increase by 40 percent in the future.

The study also claims that higher temperatures will cause the deaths of an increasingly greater number of people, especially in cities. Air quality will decrease, and pollution of water and soil will increase. All of this will result in a more frequent occurrence of respiratory and circulatory problems.

“The Mediterranean is a very familiar region for Europeans. Tens of millions of them live there, and tens of millions of others spend their holidays there. This alarming report about the state of this location should alert Europe to decrease CO2 emissions even more,” Dalibor Dostal, director of European Wildlife conservation organisation said.

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