Warm will be even warmer

Warm will be even warmer

İSMET BERKAN iberkan@hurriyet.com.tr
When I saw that the exterior temperature in the heat display on my car’s dashboard was 19.5 degrees Celsius, I couldn’t believe my eyes.

This measurement belonged was the other day, Feb. 12. Yesterday [Feb. 13], at around the same time, I saw 20 degrees Celsius.

Let’s assume mine is just a subjective and a questionable measurement. Still, climatologist Professor Mikdat Kadıoğlu gave the good news yesterday: The meteorology station at Sabiha Gökçen Airport recorded 19 degrees Celsius, thus the record, which was 18.5 degrees Celsius for Istanbul as the warmest Feb. 13 record, was surpassed.

Yes, it’s warm. Because of the lack of rain, the agriculture sector has started crying in advance. The urban population will start crying when they find no power to turn on their air conditioners with, or maybe when they are re-introduced to water cuts.

Yes, it’s warm, because the climate is changing. The harm caused by us and our fathers will unfortunately be paid for by our children and grandchildren.

I know everybody is talking politics with great appetite; you want to read something about the fight between the government and the community, about corruption in the government, about the approaching elections.

Well, for a moment, raise your heads and take a look: The 19 degrees Celsius measured in Istanbul yesterday will leave more of a mark in all of our lives than the daily politics that we cannot talk about enough.

Yes, it’s warm; and it will get even warmer.

According to research conducted by Stanford University, this year will be the warmest year since regular measurements began. But no year in the future will be as “cool” as this year.

Contemplating “warmer years in the future,” yes, the average temperature in the world is increasing, but the most important of all, the temperature of the ocean waters, is also increasing. However, this increase is not necessarily steady everywhere.

Northern Europe is freezing this year. Snow storms follow one after the other. Despite this, Turkey has no precipitation. Eastern Anatolia has record cold at nights, but there has been no proper snow. Serious rises are observed in climatic abnormalities.

In a recent report prepared by Professor Mikdat Kadıoğlu, the significant increase in the number of natural disasters in Turkey, as well as the magnitude of the risk of draught, are examined.

Turkey is in an interesting place in terms of global positioning. We hear about the tornadoes and cyclones in the Unites States and listen to their scientific causes, but we do not talk about the mechanism behind the draught in the Konya Plain and the increasing flood incidents in the Black Sea region.

For instance, an important effect of global climate change (or warming) is that Turkey and south Europe are receiving much less precipitation than before, due to blockage. You can talk about politics as much as you want to, but you cannot affect the facts of nature on the global scale. Very serious draughts are expected in Turkey; this year will be recorded in history as having a real draught.

When compared to past eras, a very serious rise has been seen in the number of meteorological disasters in Turkey between the years 2001 and 2010.

Of course, let’s talk about the fight between the community and the government, the authoritarianism of the government, the distancing from democracy. But let’s also talk a bit about what kind of a life is waiting for our children and grandchildren.

İsmet Berkan is a columnist for daily Hürriyet in which this piece was published Feb 14. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.