AI warns Türkiye on drought, experts agree

AI warns Türkiye on drought, experts agree

Muhammed Kafadar - ISTANBUL
AI warns Türkiye on drought, experts agree

ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot, has predicted that Türkiye can face severe water shortages due to recent population growth, to which experts have agreed.

When asked about the effects of climate change on Türkiye, ChatGPT says that as the country is in a particularly vulnerable region, rising temperatures could hit agricultural products and hydropower production, pushing up food and energy prices. There could also be severe water shortages due to population growth and poor water management practices.

The chatbot also recommended Türkiye should reduce its dependence on hydropower.

According to the Energy Ministry, hydropower accounts for the largest portion of the country’s total installed capacity, with 30 percent.

Agreeing with the AI on the extent of the risk, Alice Hill, a climate change expert at the U.S.-based think-tank Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), said that Türkiye experienced the warmest December in 50 years in 2022.

She stressed that according to projections, Türkiye is among the top 30 countries to experience water scarcity in 2040.

ChatGPT also emphasized that climate change might trigger new migrations from neighboring countries, such as Syria and Iraq, to Türkiye by increasing economic and social vulnerabilities. It may also lead to internal migration from rural areas to urban centers within the country.

Experts also warned that new migration flows could trigger as the Mediterranean region is becoming increasingly arid and hotter.

Professor Tim Benton, a researcher at the U.K.-based think-tank Chatham House, said that if agricultural activities become unsustainable due to drought, especially after the Kahramanmaraş quakes, new migrations could be seen both within Türkiye and to Türkiye.

The AI also reminded that there is not enough snowfall, especially in Istanbul, and this is bad news for the rivers and streams that feed the dams.

Hill, who was also former President Barack Obama’s climate change adviser, warned of a severe drought through 2023, saying that Istanbul’s water reserves have fallen to rock bottom levels, yet water consumption continues to increase.

“There should be warnings to restrict water use,” she advised.

Artificial Intelligence, Turkey,