The Mediterranean region is warming up 20% faster than the world average, so if no additional corrective measures are applied, the temperature is expected to rise 2.2 degrees in 2040 and by 2100 the sea level rises one meter, affecting a third of the population of the area.
These are some of the provisional conclusions of the First Scientific Evaluation Report on Climate and Environmental Change in the Mediterranean that was presented this Thursday at the '4th Regional Forum of the Union for the Mediterranean' and which aims at the development and application of effective policies based on scientific evidence.
The secretary general of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), Nasser Kamel, has warned of the "calamities" that climate change can cause and that would affect "the stability and prosperity of our region."
Increase in temperatures, sea level rise, water scarcity, massive deaths of marine species, decrease of harvests and yield of fishing and livestock, large-scale fires, increase of droughts and heat waves o Conflicts over the scarcity of resources are some of the consequences that climate change can have in the region, according to the report presented.
The Deputy Director General of the European Commission, Maciej Popowski, has assured that the fight against climate change is one of the priorities of the community institutions and that we are in the "momentum" to take action: "The time to act is now" .
The report has been presented by the coordinator of the MedECC network of scientists who has done the study, Wolfgang Cramer, and the lead author, Semia Cherif, who in their work have synthesized the numerous existing scientific studies to offer all the knowledge available to date on the situation in the region.
Cherif has emphasized the effects of climate change on water and food, recalling that the rise of one meter in the Mediterranean sea level would affect almost 200 million people in 2100 and endanger their livelihoods.
According to the report, a high concentration of greenhouse gases could cause an even greater temperature increase, which in 2100 would reach 5 degrees.
The scientist has stressed that "each grade matters" and recalled that, as in humans, the increase in temperature, however small it may seem, has great implications.
In this sense, he has indicated that, for each degree that the temperature of the sea rises, the fish reduce between 20 and 30% in size, so that by 2050 the average body weight of the fish would be reduced by 49%.
In the case of wheat crops, they estimate that each grade reduces its production by 7.5%, and that by 2090 it will have reduced by 37.5%
Cherif has also pointed out the risks of contamination of drinking water and has indicated that in 20 years more than 250 million people will suffer shortages and the availability of fresh water will decrease up to 15%.
For its part, Cramer has made references to the effects on human health, ecosystems and conflicts and has indicated that floods and heat waves, which will be more frequent, will involve risks to the health of vulnerable populations, especially in environments urban.
The scientist has also highlighted the possibility of increasing war conflicts, given that the problems arising from climate change "reduce the country's resilience to instability."
. (tagsToTranslate) region (t) Mediterranean (t) heats (t) fast (t) worldwide