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Mediterranean Climate Is Turning Caribbean

The Mediterranean Sea increasingly resembles the Caribbean

By Marietta Gross - Scoop Media Auckland.

An Italian meteorologist has discovered that the Mediterranean Sea is warmer than it has been for 3000 years and fears run high that the region will experience hurricanes.

Europe has been experiencing a heat wave and Italian experts warn that the weather around the Mediterranean Sea is becoming increasingly similar to the Caribbean. Between 1985 and 2003 the sea temperature has risen by four degrees.

An article titled “Mare Monstrum”, which was published by the Italian environment protection alliance “Legambiente” detailed that in the summer of 2003 in the Adriatic Sea as well as the Thyrrenian Sea temperatures reached 32 Celsius. In the past, the maximum temperature was 27 degrees.

“For 3000 years the sea water hasn’t been that warm. The risk is, that due to the wet humid climate hurricanes like in the tropes occur”, said Francesco Meneguzzo, meteorologist of the Italian research institute CNR.

The greenhouse gas effect is said to be responsible for the high water temperatures.

Experts think the climate changes are associated with a high emission of carbon dioxide. “The oceans and forests hardly have the opportunity to absorb this amount of carbon dioxide. Kyoto was an important political protocol with only a few concrete results. Now it is time to rein in the negative consequences of the Earth’s warming”, comment the experts.

Pollution around the Mediterranean Sea is also having an effect. Pollution from mass tourism, the rising number of motor boats, a lack of clarification (sewage) plants, and intensified building practices are threatening the quality of the water.

On the Italian coast, illegal buildings litter the skyline with five buildings per two kilometres of coastline have been constructed without permission. Since 2002, 93,000 illegal buildings have been erected.

The environment has suffered as a result, with a reported 23 percent of beaches experiencing erosion. “Every hour three severe environment misdemeanours are being committed in Italy. The number of Italians accused of these offences has risen by 10.4 per cent”, say the authors of the study.

A report by the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), which was presented last Friday in Rome, states climate change is likely to have devastating effects leading to heat waves and droughts.

According to the WWF an average temperature rise of two degrees will result in heat waves for a period of several weeks with temperatures reaching 35 degrees, drought and considerable harvest losses around the Mediterranean Sea will also be experienced. Forest fires, a chronic lack of water, and a crisis within the tourism-sector impose dangers. In all this would have drastic economical consequences for affected countries.


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