Will there be a heat disaster, a global drought disaster?


Lerato Khumalo

The increase in temperature values ​​in June has already created concerns about drought. In Turkey, where temperature records have been broken one after another since January, dried out clumps formed in the bed of the Büyük Menderes River at the beginning of summer. While the traces of drought are clearly visible in the Sarıkemer area of ​​Söke, worrying images are also reflected from the Tunca River in Edirne. While the flow rate of the Tunca River decreased by 4 times compared to the same period of the previous year, it was brought to the agenda that there may be a water shortage in August.

In order for the temperature increase to have a 50 percent chance of remaining below 1.5 degrees by the beginning of 2024, the remaining carbon budget must be reduced by approximately 200 billion tons, that is, approximately the five-year value of current emissions.


While experts say that temperature records will be broken in Turkey during the summer period, former DSI manager Dursun Yıldız said: “In 2023, average temperature values ​​​​across the world exceeded the 1.5 degree threshold compared to the pre-industrial period. If this trend continues, we will look forward to last summer. Especially regions where rain-based agriculture may be in a difficult situation. “Measures should be taken now in basins where irrigated agriculture is carried out,” he said.


Former Undersecretary of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization Prof. Dr. Mustafa Öztürk, on the other hand, underlined that he was worried about the summer period and said: “There will be places that will be affected by serious drought in the Southeastern Anatolia and Mediterranean Region, especially in the Konya Basin. “As the evaporation rate will increase with the warming of the weather, water scarcity may occur in the Mediterranean, Konya and Southeastern Anatolia Region.”


On the other hand, recent climate research has shed light on the risks facing the planet. The “Global Climate Change Indicators” study conducted by Leeds University revealed that human-induced global warming has increased by 0.26 degrees every 10 years since records began to be kept. Other highlights of the report are as follows: “Between 2013 and 2022, a record high annual average greenhouse gas emission occurred with 53 gigatons of carbon dioxide. While the global surface temperature in 2023 will rise 1.43 degrees above the 1850-1900 average, 1.31 degrees of this was due to human-induced warming. “Human-induced warming has increased by 1.19 degrees in the last decade.”

Will there be a heat disaster, a global drought disaster?  - Picture: 2
It is stated that water scarcity will mostly reduce the productivity of agricultural lands.


In the report prepared by the World Meteorological Organization and the Copernicus Climate Change Service, Noting that temperatures in Europe are above average for 11 months of the year, The following information was included: “There have been a record number of days of ‘extreme heat stress’ in 2023. In June, the Atlantic Ocean to the west of Ireland and around the United Kingdom was ‘extreme’ and in some areas ‘extreme’, with sea surface temperatures rising up to 5 degrees above average. It was affected by a marine heatwave classified as ‘extreme’.”


“In 2023, one-third of the European river network had river flows exceeding the ‘high’ flood threshold, while 16 per cent exceeded the ‘severe’ flood threshold. The Alps have experienced extraordinary glacier ice loss in 2023 due to below-average snow accumulation in winter and severe melting resulting from heat waves in summer. “Between 2022 and 2023, glaciers in the Alps have lost approximately 10 percent of their remaining volume.”