MedECC booklet published
A booklet by the MedECC initiative with information on climate change in the Mediterranean region and its impacts on water, food security, ecosystems, human security and health was published in December 2018.
Summary of the booklet:
- CLIMATE CHANGE: Average annual air temperatures are now approximately 1.5°C higher than during the preindustrial period, well above current global warming trends (+1.1°C). Without additional mitigation, regional temperature increase will be 2.2°C in 2040, possibly exceeding 3.8°C in some regions in 2100. Summer precipitation will decrease by 10 to 30%, depending on the region. Heat waves, droughts, floods and fires will become more frequent. Surface seawater temperature has recently increased by about 0.4°C per decade. The projections for 2100 vary between +1.8°C and +3.5°C on average compared to the period between 1961 and 1990. The sea level rises at a rate of about 3 mm per year during the last decades. There are major uncertainties concerning the global mean sea level rise in the future (the global mean sea level is estimated to increase between 52 and 190 cm by 2100). Seawater acidification proceeds.
- FOOD SECURITY: Food demand increases while crop, fish and livestock yields as well as crop quality decline. The phenological cycle becomes shorter. Regional imbalances in food security and food import dependence are on the rise.
- WATER RESOURCES: Water resources are unevenly distributed around the Mediterranean. The quality and quantity of freshwater resources decreases, while the demand for agriculture and tourism increases, thus generating conflicts between uses. Floods and droughts risks are rising.
- ECOSYSTEMS: Ecosystems are impacted by climate change, land use change, pollution and overexploitation. Aridity is gaining ground with systems becoming less productive. Fire risk increases. Falling water levels impact wetlands and freshwater ecosystems. The geographic distribution of terrestrial and marine species changes. At the same time, the number of non-native marine species (especially those from the Red Sea) rises. Mass mortality events occur mainly in coralligenous habitats due to high water temperatures. Sea acidification has a negative impact on carbonate shells and skeletons.
- HUMAN SECURITY: Coastal risks result from a rising sea level, storm-surges, flooding, and local land subsidence. The fire risk increases for people living at the forest border. Social conflicts may be aggravated by droughts. Limited resources and conflicts may cause large-scale human migration. Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries are often more vulnerable.
- HUMAN HEALTH: Heat-related illnesses and fatalities become more frequent, especially in the cities (urban heat-island effect). Climate change impacts the emergence of vector- and waterborne diseases. Air, soil and water quality deteriorate. Pollen allergies are on the rise. Sanitary conditions may deteriorate owing to the societal and political situation
Download the booklet :
Research paper “Climate change and interconnected risks to sustainable development in the Mediterranean”: