Winter 2017-18 the second warmest on record in Turkey since 1971: Official
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
The winter just passed is the second warmest on record in Turkey since 1971, according to an official from the country’s meteorological service.
The average temperature during the winter season of 2017-18 was recorded at 6.4 degrees Celsius, 2.8 degrees above the average temperature from 1981 to 2010, said İsmail Güneş, the director general of Turkey’s State Meteorological Service.
The warmest winter season was recorded in 2010-11, when the average was 6.8 degrees Celsius, Güneş added.
2017 is the third hottest year ever recorded on the planet since measurements first started in 1880, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
The average temperature in Turkey was 14.2 degrees Celsius in 2017, which is 0.7 degrees above the average temperature during the period between 1981 and 2010.
Güneş said climate change has led to a decrease in the average annual snowfall, while adding that “it is still too early to say whether the tropical climate will prevail in the country in the future.”
According to projections by Turkey’s meteorological service, the average annual temperature in the country will increase by 1-2 degrees Celsius by 2050.
Güneş noted that rising temperatures are negatively affecting the quality and quantity of agricultural production, warning that the trend may lead to a rise in the number and severity of the heat waves, storms, and whirlwinds.
He said there is a particular risk of excessive rainfall especially in the country’s western and northern coastal areas, which could lead to more flash floods.
“These are mostly human-caused disasters that depend on various factors, including unplanned settlements, incorrect selection of settlement areas, and disturbance in natural equilibriums due to destruction of forest areas,” Güneş added.
He also stressed that there has been a significant upward trend in meteorological disasters resulting from climate change since 2000 in Turkey, including storms, floods, hails, avalanches, droughts and forest fires.
The weather forecast department uses an early warning system to minimize adverse consequences of meteorological events and to warn authorized institutions to take necessary measures in advance.
According to the department, 400 warnings related to storms, snowmelts, avalanches, landslides, agricultural frosts, hot/cold air waves and floods were issued in 2017.