DATE2019-01-08 12:44:24
AUTHORSÖmer Lütfi Şen (1)|Ozan Mert Göktürk (1)|Deniz Bozkurt (2)
  1. Istanbul Technical University, Eurasia Institute of Earth Sciences, Istanbul, Turkey
  2. University of Chile, Department of Geophysics, Center for Climate and Resilience Research, Santiago, Chile
ABSTRACTObservations indicate that the Earth’s climate has been changing as a result of human activities. Most visibly, the air is getting warmer (close to 1oC since 1900), the land and sea ice are melting, and consequently the sea level is rising (about 19 cm since the beginning of twentieth century). Climate change projections suggest that these changes will continue in the twenty first century. Turkey lies in a region that is highly vulnerable to climate change, and the indicators show that climate is changing in Turkey too. The station observations show that temperatures are increasing throughout the country. Summer temperatures increase more than those of the other seasons. There are significant shifts in the timing of the snowfed river discharges, which indicates that snow melts earlier in response to the elevated temperatures. No significant coherent change has yet been detected in precipitation observations. Future climate change projections agree on an increase in temperatures throughout the country and a reduction in precipitation in the southern half of the country. There is no doubt that these changes will impact the country’s water resources negatively by reducing the water potentials in the southern basins. The projections that were based on the high emissions scenarios indicate water potential reductions up to 37% in the Mediterranean basins, up to 70% in Konya basin and up to 10% in the Euphrates and Tigris basins by the mid twenty first century. The decline in the water resources will, first and foremost, influence the agriculture and animal husbandry and the related sectors. Hydroelectric energy production is another sector that will be negatively affected by the water potential reduction in Turkey. Besides, Turkey will be subjected to more droughts, heat waves and forest fires. In order to mitigate the negative impacts and benefit from the positive impacts of climate change, Turkey should certainly include the climate change projections in all future planning. Switching to water efficient irrigation techniques, extending the irrigated fields, recycling water, saving water and energy, adopting climate compatible cropping patterns, distributing crop cultivation to different regions, replacing the forest areas with drought and temperature resilient trees, planning urbanization in such a way to minimize urban heat island effect, using more renewable energy, etc. will certainly help Turkey cope better with the adverse effects of climate change.