Turkey experienced changes in its climate and managed to dodge a possible natural disaster in 2017. This year's biggest climate-related event was the severe rainfall that hit the Marmara region, especially in Istanbul, the most densely populated city in Turkey. Following the flood in July, global warming and its effects in the region were brought onto the agenda once again.
Speaking right after the unusual summer flood, Professor Orhan Şen of Istanbul Technical University said heavy rainfall is an expected result of global warming.
"This is the result of global warming, which has led to climate change. Turkey's climate is changing. It is becoming a semiarid climate and it is common to see this kind of heavy rain in this type of climate."
Professor Şen said the average temperature in Istanbul during the summer was 31 degrees Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit) four years ago, noting that the temperature dropped as low as 24 degrees on the day of the heavy rainfall. "There was a temperature drop of up to 10 degrees on Monday night and this created a mix in the atmosphere. The rain was inevitable," he added.
Noting that a sudden drop in temperature is the signature feature of a semiarid climate, Professor Şen continued: "You see this type of sudden and heavy rain in Miami. During summer, heavy rain begins and stops suddenly. The change in Turkey's climate has been happening in the last 10 years but it has become more evident now. We are now seeing excessive rains, drought and whirlwinds. However, climates do not change in 10 or 20 years. It will take time to see the real changes in Turkey, but it is changing for sure."
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