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Global Climate Change, Desertification, and Its Consequences in Turkey and the Middle East

October 4, 2013

Climate change and desertification is a global problem, and Turkey and the Middle East region are among the mostly affected areas of the world. By the end of this century, Turkey and the Middle East region are expected to have an increased mean temperature about 3–5 °C and a 20–40 % decline in precipitation. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) warns that desertification is likely to become irreversible, if the environment becomes drier and the soil becomes further degraded through erosion and compaction. According to United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), most of areas in Turkey are under desertification and/or high potential for desertification and only small parts of the areas in Turkey are non-risky places. Climate models predict a hotter, drier and less predictable climate for the Middle East region, and degradation and desertification are expected to accelerate due to global warming. Climate change and desertification is acting as a risk for water loss, decline in agriculture, and loss of biodiversity. Climate change has a negative impact on human health by indirect effects including air, water, and food supplies and by direct effects on especially elderly, children, and chronically ill population. This chapter examines the potential impacts of climate change and desertification on the environmental parameters and human health in Turkey and the Middle East.

Hasan Bayram, MD, Öztürk, AB, in press, Desertification, and Its Consequences in Turkey and the Middle East, in: Global Climate Change and Public Health, Volume 7, 2014, pp 293-305, doi: 10.1007/978-1-4614-8417-2_17. Chapter (subscription required)

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