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31 May 2023, 09:17

Turkish scientist warns of rising global temperatures, climate risks in next 5 years


ISTANBUL, 31 May (BelTA - Anadolu Agensy). - Global temperatures are set to rise significantly in the next five years, surpassing the record set in 2016, the hottest year on record, according to a Turkish scientist.

Speaking to Anadolu, Levent Kurnaz, the head of Bogazici University's Center for Climate Change and Policy Studies in Istanbul, commented on a report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) that highlighted the impact of El Nino event, with increasing greenhouse gases, on global warming.

Kurnaz said the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from coal, oil, and natural gas leads to a rise in the average global temperature, and that this trend is intensifying each year.

Stressing the significance of recent temperature fluctuations, Kurnaz said the La Nina effect in the Pacific Ocean prevented the average global temperatures from reaching record levels, while "the subsequent severe El Nino event following a prolonged three-year La Nina period has made it almost certain that temperature records will be shattered in the near future."

Citing the WMO predictions, Kurnaz noted that between 2023 and 2027, the global annual average surface temperature is projected to be higher than the average in the period of 1850-1900 by 1.1 to 1.8 degrees Celsius.

He warned that an extreme value of 1.8 degrees Celsius, if realized, could pose severe risks, especially for the agricultural sector.

Reflecting on the record-breaking year of 2016, when global average temperatures exceeded the 1850-1900 average by 1.29 degrees Celsius, Kurnaz attributed its intensity to the severe El Nino event, which significantly warmed the Pacific Ocean waters.

The global average temperature in 2022 was above this average by 1.15 degrees Celsius, he recalled, explaining that despite the subsequent climate change, the cooling of the Pacific Ocean after the 2016 El Nino event prevented the global average temperatures from reaching the 2016 level.

Kurnaz further highlighted an assessment by the WMO, saying it is highly probable that one of the years between 2023 and 2027 will be warmer than 2016, the hottest year on record.

The WMO study shows that the 1.5-degree-Celsius temperature rise target of the 2015 Paris Agreement is likely to be exceeded in 2023-2027, he said.

The Paris Agreement entered into force in 2016 and has been adopted by over 190 parties, aiming to curb global warming compared to pre-industrial levels to well below 2, preferably 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The warming in the North Pole is quite high compared to the rest of the earth, Kurnaz also noted, saying the temperatures to be measured in the next five years in this region are expected to be three times higher than the temperature rise in the rest of the Earth.

La Nina is a climate pattern where cooler than average sea-surface temperatures occur in the tropical Pacific, whereas El Nino is a climate phenomenon referring to rising temperatures in the equatorial Pacific region.

El Nino is expected to return in June, resulting in dry weather conditions in critical cropping areas of Central America, Southern Africa, and Far East Asia, as well as excessive rainfall and probable flooding in Near East Asia and East Africa, according to the Global Report on Food Crises released by World Food Program earlier this month.

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