Environment

Arctic, Mediterranean warming faster than global average: World weather body chief

Along with climate change, Mediterranean region getting drier, says WMO head Petteri Taalas

Bayram Altug and Peter Kenny   | 10.10.2021
Arctic, Mediterranean warming faster than global average: World weather body chief

GENEVA

The head of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said two parts of the world have been warming more than the global average, the Arctic, followed by the Mediterranean region.

Petteri Taalas told Anadolu Agency that the Mediterranean region is getting drier along with climate warming.

"So, it rains less and, and we also see more evaporation. And, we have also studied fairly dramatic forest fires in several Mediterranean countries -- Greece, Portugal, Spain, and of course now Turkey," said Taalas.

The WMO chief will speak before a special session of the WMO next week in Geneva, followed by COP26, the Conference of the Parties on climate change being held in Glasgow, Scotland, from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12.

What is happening in the Arctic and the Mediterranean is also happening in several other places in the world, said the climate group chief.

"In North America, we have seen record-breaking forest fires; also in Australia, and, also in Russia, for example.

"So, this is one of the indicators of climate change. And because of climate change, we expect to see such events even more in the coming years because the negative trend and climate will continue for the coming decades."

Reversing negative trend

Taalas said the "negative trend" could have been reversed from 2016 "if we were successful in the implementation of the Paris Agreement."

The accord signed in the French capital is an international treaty that was inked by almost all countries at COP21 in Paris in 2015.

The WMO chief asked how the world treats its forests and handles forest fires they face is another question in climate change. And the risk is growing.

So, when it came to Turkey, its metrological agency is a "vital partner for the WMO" as it has sophisticated early warning services, said Taalas.

"Turkey is also contributing to the success of such services in its neighboring countries. So, Turkey is a strong player in the region," he said.

He noted Turkey has the weather and water services and the kind of information needed "to be able to mitigate climate risk."

The WMO said on Oct. 6 that the World Meteorological Community and the international science community hailed the awarding of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics to three pioneering climate scientists who laid the foundations for the world's understanding of the role of human activities and greenhouse gases in climate change.

American-Japanese Syukuro Manabe from Princeton University in the US, Germany's Klaus Hasselmann of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany won "for the physical modeling of Earth's climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warming.”

Also cited was Italian theorist Giorgio Parisi from Sapienza University in Rome "for the discovery of the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from atomic to planetary scales."

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