Regions of the Eastern Mediterranean are predicted to see significant temperature increases by the end of the 21st century, according to new research.
By Jaime Bender
To you and me, a summer that lasts two months longer than usual sounds like a dream. More beach! More walks! More sports! More fun!
But in the context of climate change, sadly, that occurrence is sorely unwelcome. A new Tel Aviv University study reveals that by the end of the 21st century, it's expected that the Eastern Mediterranean region will experience a dry and hot period of six months rather than the current four. Conversely, the region's winter will shorten from four months to two.
The discovery came after studying global climate models based on an algorithm developed by Tel Aviv University Professor Pinhas Alpert, who oversaw the study. He and his colleagues called the findings "disturbing."
"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," says Assaf Hochman of TAU's School of Geosciences, who led the research. "These projected changes will significantly influence our lives by shrinking and degrading the quality of our water resources, increasing the risk of brushfires, worsening pollution and altering the timing and intensity of seasonal illnesses and other health hazards."
Of course, all of the researchers' projections are assuming human behavior stays the same. "It is very important to understand this to try to prevent the deterioration as much as possible, or at least prepare for the change," Hochman said.
Jaime Bender is a staff writer, copy editor and web producer at From the Grapevine.