It was once a rare weather phenomenon in the country. tornadoes are becoming increasingly common in Turkey. Experts believe it is due to the worsening global fallout climate crisisIt is also responsible for a number of weather-related disasters in the country.
Two tornadoes struck this month in places far apart and in different climates. On Dec. 7, a tornado ripped the roofs off of 12 houses and heavily damaged a barn in Çeşme, a popular vacation resort in the Izmir province on Turkey’s Aegean coast. One day later and some 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) away from Izmir, a tornado hit the Saraycık village in the northern province of Bayburt, tearing apart roofs.
Experts believe that rising surface and atmosphere temperatures due to global warming, evaporation, and an increase in water vapor content in our atmosphere are leading to increased tornado coverage across the country.
Professor Murat Türkeş from Boğaziçi University Center for Climate Change and Policy Studies told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Thursday that tornadoes are largely associated with atmospheric changes and in the past two decades “tornado geography,” mostly confined to the Gulf of Mexico and parts of the United States, has expanded. He believes the changes are due to climate change, and climate modeling studies have pointed to this new reality.
Türkeş noted that tornadoes were random and rare incidents in Turkey in the past. “They were more common in the Mediterranean, in Antalya and Gulf of Iskenderun, but we see they have expanded to more regions. They are now found in all areas of the Black Sea coast, including the Marmara and eastern Black Sea regions. Still, most are concentrated in the western Mediterranean region,” he said.
About the tornado in Izmir, Türkeş said the incident was linked to the transition to a cold front of a Mediterranean cyclone. “We did not have such humid conditions in this season in the past. They are made worse by an increase in humidity and vaporization. There will be more tornadoes as long as global warming’s density increases,” he added.
Türkeş urged new measures for protection against tornado damage, including designing new buildings in compliance with resistance to storms and tornadoes.
The Daily Sabah Newsletter
Keep up to date with what’s happening in Turkey,
it’s region and the world.