Data Journalism EN

Climate Changes, Mindset Remains the Same: Turkey as a driver of global warming

According to a research that analyzes the climate targets of different countries, if Turkey, China, Russia and Canada maintain their climate policies, this will result in a deadly increase of 5 degrees Celsius across the world by the end of this century.

A research which was published in the Nature Communications Journal on Friday evaluates each country’s goal to reduce emissions and the potential scenarios including the temperature increase that will occur in case the countries maintain their current climate policies.

Considering the major economies that steer global economy, India stands out among others with its positive target that predicts an increase of 2.6 degrees Celsius. Underdeveloped countries can promise lower temperature increases as they usually have fewer factories, power plants and vehicles.

CLIMATE POLICIES OF COUNTRIES LIKE CHINA, RUSSIA, CANADA AND TURKEY PAVE THE WAY FOR A GLOBAL DISASTER

Across the spectrum, we see China, the industrial power plant, and the major energy exporters which hardly put any effort to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions: These include Saudi Arabia (oil), Russia (gas) and Canada, which derives high amounts of dirty fuels from tar sands. The fossil fuel lobbies in those countries are so strong that governments’ climate promises are the vaguest. These countries force our planet to warm by more than 5 °C by the end of this century. Turkey is one of the countries that ‘try’ to heat the planet by more than 5 degrees Celsius.

The study claims that the current political will makes it more difficult to scientifically sound an alert. However, the author of the article, Yann Robiou du Pont from Melbourne University is of the opinion that the study should inspire rather than harm people. Dupont says, “As a positive outcome of this study, we now know that we have a measure to stop greed. Civil society, experts and decision makers can make use of this situation to keep their governments accountable and potentially pursue climate lawsuits as in the Netherlands.” Du Pont describes the results of the study as a “motivation to say no greed and prevent global warming as soon as possible.”

Turkey is in a highly critical situation in terms of temperature increase. According to graphs, the country must limit its carbon emission within a short time like several years.

 

Paris-Equity-Check.org, which reviews the Nationally Determined Contributions of countries, also states that the reduction of emission brings many gains. Demonstrating how fair countries’ climate commitments are in the scope of the mitigation targets in the Paris Agreement, the site evaluates the Nationally Determined Contributions in accordance with five equity categories. It is observed that Turkey is one of the countries with zero points according to these criteria.

The rating method consists of 5 assessment criteria. The first star is the ‘Constant Emissions Ratio’. This assessment involves the countries maintaining their current national emissions ratios at the same rate. The second star is the ‘Greenhouse Development Rights’. Countries with historically higher emission rates must reduce their emissions to achieve this star.  Other countries, on the other hand, are allowed for temporary increases.

The third star is ‘Capability’. This involves rich countries reducing their emissions the most, whereas other countries’ emissions may temporarily increase.

The fourth star includes a regular promise for the future. In order to achieve the ‘Equal Cumulative Per Capita’ star, countries with historically higher emission quantities per capita must keep their future emission quantities lower compared to other countries.

Finally, the fifth star is ‘Equal Per Capita’, which means all countries agree on achieving the same objective regarding global greenhouse emissions regardless of their status.

We observe that many central Africa countries have all five stars. However, it should be noted there that the majority of these countries fall behind in industrialization.

According to a graph obtained from Climate Action Tracker, Turkey is one of the countries contributing to the climate problem. Russia, USA, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Turkey are the critical countries according to the mentioned list.

THE DANGER AWAITING TURKEY: DROUGHT

Due to global warming, the biggest disaster awaiting Turkey is considered as drought. As the majority of Turkey is subject to semi-arid climate, it is one of the countries that will be affected by global warming the most. Besides, there is a desert belt to the south of Turkey, and this belt moves to the north due to warming. According to experts, temperature increase by 1.0-3.5 degrees will cause middle latitudes to move to the poles by 150-550 kilometers. In this case, the geographical distribution of ecosystems will change. While the majority of species will fail to adapt to new conditions and go extinct, Turkey will face drought. Due to all these reasons, Turkey is considered as one of the countries that will be impacted by the dangerous and severe effects of global warming.

According to the research of DMİ-İTÜ, predictions in the 70-year Turkey Climate Forecast Model are as follows:

  • Precipitation along the Mediterranean coasts, interiors and lower Euphrates basin will be 29,6 per cent lower than today.
  • On the contrary, precipitation is forecasted to increase by up to 22 per cent along the Black Sea coast.
  • The model estimates a temperature increase of 2.8-5.5°C in various regions of the country.
  • This increase in temperature will trigger evaporation; accordingly, evaporation will increase by 17,8 per cent on Mediterranean coasts, 18,4 per cent on Black Sea coasts, and 22,2 per cent across the whole world. Therefore, drought is expected to increase across the country except for Northeast Turkey.
  • Comparing the current and future status of vegetation, it is predicted that the northern coasts will shift from deciduous broad-leaved forests to evergreen needle-leaved forests.
  • The mixed forest cover may spread to the interiors of East Anatolia and northwestern part of the country.
  • Water resources, the indispensable element of life, are also impacted by global warming. Across the belt covering Turkey, water is becoming a strategic commodity which restricts life and may even be the trigger of wars in the future.

 

Translation: Nilay Iğdır

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