‘Climate change, extreme weather events forcing people to migrate’

World Meteorological Organization’s official says climate change not distant future threat, it is already affecting daily weather patterns

Muhammet İkbal Arslan  | 04.08.2023 - Update : 05.08.2023
‘Climate change, extreme weather events forcing people to migrate’


Climate change is not a distant future threat, it is already affecting daily weather patterns and forcing people to migrate, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Friday.

Omar Baddour, the head of the WMO’s Climate Monitoring Division, told Anadolu in a written statement: “Climate change interconnects directly or indirectly with the development challenges that many countries are facing. Investing in renewable energy, weather, and climate services need to be mainstreamed at various levels of governance."

"Research and development are poorly funded, especially in developing countries, and this needs to change because this is the only way to renovate and fund practical and viable solutions for climate change adaptation," Baddour underscored.

Noting that extreme heat and precipitation have recently affected the northern hemisphere on a large scale, he added that the world also witnessed heavy rainfall and flooding like in Beijing.

“We are seeing trends of more extreme and high impact weather, enhanced by climate change and/or triggered by other drivers like El Nino which has now developed," he said.

The El Nino phenomenon refers to a warming of the ocean surface, or above-average sea surface temperatures, in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.

Mediterranean region

Regarding the extreme heat and drought in the Mediterranean region and Türkiye in recent years, Baddour referred to the section of the 6th Assessment of the Synthesis Report prepared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of the UN, which includes scientific findings dedicated to the Mediterranean.

"During the 21st century, climate change is projected to intensify throughout the Mediterranean region. Air and sea temperature and their extremes (notably heat waves) are likely to continue to increase more than the global average," he said.

"Precipitation will likely decrease in most areas by 4–22%, depending on the emission scenario," he said. "Rainfall extremes will likely increase in the northern part of the region. Droughts will become more prevalent in many areas."

He added that the Mediterranean Sea level is projected to rise further during the coming decades and centuries, increasing coastal flood risks in low-lying areas along 37% of the Mediterranean coastline that currently hosts 42 million people.

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