Israelis and tourists enjoy the beach in Tel Aviv on a hot summer day. (photo by Miriam Alster/FLASH90 via Israel21c)
A new study says that, by 2100, climate changes will extend the summer season in the eastern Mediterranean – an area that covers Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and southern Turkey – by two full months. Winter, the rainy season, will shorten from four to two months.
The study, published in the International Journal of Climatology, was overseen by Prof. Pinhas Alpert and conducted by Assaf Hochman, Tzvi Harpaz and Prof. Hadas Saaroni, all of Tel Aviv University’s School of Geosciences.
“Pending no significant change in current human behaviour in the region, the summer is expected to extend by 25% by the middle of the century (2046-2065) and by 49% until its end (2081-2100),” Hochman said. “The combination of a shorter rainy season and a longer dry season may cause a major water problem in Israel and neighbouring countries.”
Other serious potential consequences include increased risk of brushfires, worsening pollution and altered timing and intensity of seasonal illnesses and health hazards.
“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,” said Hochman.
The research team is currently exploring the possibility of establishing a multidisciplinary regional centre for climate adaptation.