Climate change is believed by scientists to affect millions of people.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Climate changes caused by a rise in greenhouse gas emissions will cause significant environmental changes in Israel and the eastern Mediterranean region by 2100, reveals a Tel Aviv University study published in the International Journal of Climatology on Wednesday.
The most alarming finding in the study shows that by the end of the century the region may come to experience a six-month-long summer and a two-month-long winter, compared to today's standard four-month seasons.
"These projected changes will significantly influence our lives by shrinking and degrading the quality of our water resources, increasing the risk of brush fires, worsening pollution and altering the timing and intensity of seasonal illnesses and other health hazards," said Assaf Hochman of TAU's School of Geosciences, who led the research.
Using an algorithm developed by one of the professors in charge of the study, the research team examined the impact of human behavior on climate in the eastern Mediterranean region— an area that includes Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. They came to disturbing conclusions, the most serious of which being that "pending no significant changes in current human behavior...the combination of a shorter rainy season and a longer dry season may cause a major water problem in Israel and neighboring countries."
"One of the main causes of these changes is the growing concentration of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere as a result of human activity," Hochman added. "It is very important to understand this to try to prevent the deterioration as much as possible, or at least to prepare for the change."
The press release states that the research team is now attempting to establish a multidisciplinary regional center for climate adaptation to hopefully minimize the destructive effects of climate change on the region.