Cyclone Gonu 311.
(photo credit: NASA/MODIS Rapid Response Team)
An Environmental Protection Ministry climate change report predicts that over
the next decade, the country will see an annual decrease in rainfall, and
increases in temperature, southern desertification, heat waves, periods of
torrential rains and flooding.
“Global climate change is already here –
that’s a fact,” Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan said in a
statement released by his office. “We are all experiencing the manifestation of
diminishing precipitation, heat waves, floods and more.”
Environmental Protection Ministry has issued its report as part of the
ministry’s efforts to advance a national action plan toward adapting to climate
– a plan that will be governed by a committee under the leadership of the
Ministry Chief Scientist Dr. Sinai
Netanyahu assembled the report, based on research findings at the ministry’s
newly established Israel Climate Change Information Center, inaugurated at Haifa
University in March.
The report is divided into seven categories that the
researchers expected would have great impact on the country in the near future –
climate, public health, water management, green building, biodiversity,
economics and geo-strategy.
Among the major conclusions of the report are
an expected temperature rise of between 0.3 to 0.5 degrees Celsius per decade,
as well as decreased precipitation levels of between 1.1 and 3.7 percent in that
In addition to rampant desertification of the country’s
southern lands, Israel will also likely experience periods of extreme weather –
from intense heat waves to torrential rains and floods, according to the
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With both increased dry spells and floods, the country will also
probably face increased property damage and a higher frequency of forest fires.
The effects of climate change on biodiversity are uncertain, the report finds,
but may cause a shift in bird migration to earlier dates.
Due to both
climate change an expected increase in immigration to Israel, the report also
predicts an increased struggle to protect water resources, and changing sea
levels will surely have an impact on civilian and military coastal
“~These phenomena are not expected to slow their pace
soon, but on the contrary,” Erdan said. “Therefore, we are committed to taking
part in the global effort that will lead to changes in behavioral patterns that
will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation to a way of life that will
reduce environmental impact and will be less susceptible to the damages that are
a result of climate changes.”
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