As if the summer wasn’t long and hot enough in Israel, scientists at Tel Aviv University predict that the region’s hot and dry months will extend from four months to six months by the year 2100.
The eastern Mediterranean, which includes Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and southern Turkey is experiencing “monumental climate changes” that will significantly affect ecosystems and human health, TAU scientists announced on Wednesday.
“Our research shows that the climate changes we are all noticing today are likely to intensify in the coming decades,” said Assaf Hochman of TAU’s School of Geosciences, who led the research. “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, along with Dr. Tzvi Harpaz and Prof. Hadas Saaroni, found that an increase in greenhouse gases, directly linked to human activities, will directly change the region’s traditional seasons.
Currently, the region experiences a four-month hot and dry summer and a four-month rainy season, with four months of more moderate fall and spring weather. But based on global climate models, the scientists predict that the region will experience a six-month summer and two-month rainy season by the year 2100.
“These projected changes will significantly influence our lives by shrinking and degrading the quality of our water resources, increasing the risk of bushfires, worsening pollution and altering the timing and intensity of seasonal illnesses and other health hazards,” said Hochman.
The findings were published in the International Journal of Climatology. The scientists used an algorithm developed by Prof. Pinhas Alpert, who oversaw the research, to approach global climate models taken from the World Climate Data Center. They predict the summer will stretch to five months as early as 2046.