קיבוץ עוזיאל
Irrigation of agricultural fields in the Galilee
Photo: Meshi Ben Ami
Irrigation of agricultural fields in the Galilee

Less rain, hotter summers: Israel faces drastic climate change

The temperatures, which are expected to rise by some 1.2 degrees celsius by 2050, will lead to environmental changes so severe, people will find themselves suffering from a plethora of diseases, unless strenuous measures are introduced today

Ilana Curiel |
Updated: 12.03.19 , 13:16
The already scorching weather in Israel is expected to warm even further, with rainfall becoming less and less frequent in the coming decades, according to the Israel Meteorological Service report published Tuesday.
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  • The report, which paints a far gloomier picture of the future than in the previous years, predicts that by the year 2050 the temperatures will on average drop on average by at least 1.2 degrees celsius. The rainfall, meanwhile, is projected to decline on average by 15 to 25 percent between the years of 2071 and 2100.
    קיבוץ עוזיאלקיבוץ עוזיאל
    Irrigation of agricultural fields in the Galilee
    (Photo: Meshi Ben Ami)
    "For several decades the climate researchers have been seeing drastic changes in climate patterns,” the report. “The forecasts - based on the continued increase of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere - show that these changes are only the beginning stages of a process that will only intensify over the next century,” it said.
    “It will shake up all sectors of our society, the economy, and most likely the system of international relations.”
    The 2019 report gives the most comprehensive overview regarding the precipitation and temperature increase patterns, making predictions not only about the future but making examining the past as well.
    For instance, between the years of 1950 and 2017, the average temperatures in Israel have risen by 1.4 degrees celsius. The rainfall numbers, meanwhile, saw a decline of 2.5 cm between the same time period, which represents a drop of some 0.4 am every decade.
    According to the report's most optimistic predictions, which implies that emergency measures will be taken immediately to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the temperatures will still rise in Israel on average by at least 0.9 degrees.
    מזג אוויר חורפי בתל אביב מזג אוויר חורפי בתל אביב
    Rain in Tel Aviv
    (Photo: Yair Sagi)
    In addition, the average temperatures during the summer months will spike by 2.2 degrees on average between the years of 2021 and 2050, making the heat during the days last well into the night.
    The climate changes will lead to the drying up of rivers and wet habitats, impact the ecosystem when it comes to its terrestrial and marine biodiversity useful to human welfare, change the migration patterns of some of the species (making harmful species more invasive), while forest fires will become more prevalent.
    The report also predicts detrimental changes to the public’s health, since the drastic rise in temperatures will lead to outbreaks of various diseases due to the spread of harmful insects carrying dangerous bacteria.
    In addition, the continued rise in pollution levels will lead to various respiratory illnesses. Mental illnesses will also become more prevalent.
    Pollution in Haifa, northern Israel Pollution in Haifa, northern Israel
    Pollution in Haifa, northern Israel
    (Photo: Ido Erez)
    The Ministry of Environmental Protection adds the impact on agriculture will also be devastating, affecting the crops, livestock, pest control and land erosion.
    The economy is also expected to be affected by climate change, with output in different sectors and expected to dwindle. It is estimated that the climate crisis will shrink the global economy by the end of the century.

    First published: 13:16 , 12.03.19
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