hot temperatures due to global warming

December was the 6th warmest month in the last 50 years in Turkey

The flowering of trees in December shows that Turkey’s climate is turning tropical. At the end of the century Istanbul will be 4 ºC warmer.

Last December was the 6th warmest of the last 50 years in Turkey, according to scientists, who warn that climate change is transforming Turkey’s climate into a tropical one.

According to official data provided by the State Meteorological Agency, the historical average of temperatures in December is established at 4.5 ºC; however, in December 2020 the average temperature in Turkey reached 7.2 ºC, except in some eastern provinces such as Bitlis or Batman.

Hüseyin Toros, an expert in climatology at Istanbul Technical University (İTÜ), highlights that 2020 has been a hot and dry year not only in Turkey – where Istanbul’s water reserves are barely at 20% – but also in Europe and in the rest of the world. “The warm December in Turkey in 2020 is related to the high pressures and movements of warm winds coming from the south (of the planet),” says Toros.

Turkey’s climate is turning tropical

One proof of the effects of climate change on Turkey’s climate has been seeing many trees blooming during the month of December in Istanbul. “Normally when the temperature drops below 10 degrees, the leaves fall off the trees. When it is above 10 degrees, the trees bloom. It is not normal to see trees flowering in December,” underlines Doğanay Tolunay, from the University of Istanbul.

“We don’t have to look at the poles or melting glaciers to see global warming. We see it happening in our streets,” added Tolunay speaking of the effects of climate change in Turkey and Istanbul, where trees have been seen flourishing in districts like Şişli, Bayrampaşa or Beşiktaş.

“The flowering of the trees in December is a sign that we are experiencing a tropical climate,” says Murat Türkeş of the University of the Bosphorus. “We no longer have fall or spring,” adds Türkeş, who believes that Istanbul’s climate suffers from an ecological imbalance.

According to experts, in addition to climate change, man is helping to accelerate changes in the climate with impact on the environment and ecosystems, for example by accelerating the construction of buildings but not increasing reforestation to the same extent. “At the end of this century the temperature of Istanbul will be 4 degrees warmer. The temperature in the central neighbourhoods, such as Taksim, will be two degrees higher,” they conclude.