Largest Mediterranean lake, Beysehir in Turkey, "may dry out by 2040s"

Largest Mediterranean lake, Beysehir in Turkey,
A satellite image from Nasa of Lake Beysehir.
By bne IntelliNews November 5, 2018

The largest Mediterranean lake, Beysehir in southwestern Turkey, “may dry out by the 2040s if its outflow regime is not modified”, according to a recent article published by science journal Nature.

The article, entitled “Climate change and interconnected risks to sustainable development in the Mediterranean”, notes that among Mediterranean countries, water resources are unevenly distributed with critical limitations in the southern and eastern part of the Mediterranean basin. “Mediterranean societies will face the double challenge of meeting higher water demands from all sectors with less available freshwater water resources,” the article posits.

It adds: “Owing to climate change (enhanced evapotranspiration and reduced rainfall) alone, fresh water availability is likely to decrease substantially (by 2-15% for 2 °C of warming), among the largest decreases in the world, with significant increases in the length of meteorological dry spells and droughts.

“River flow will generally be reduced, particularly in the south and the east where water is in critically short supply. The median reduction in runoff almost doubles from about 9% (likely range: 4.5–15.5%) at 1.5 °C to 17% (8–28%) at 2 °C. Water levels in lakes and reservoirs will probably decline.”

Under the projected climate change, the seasonality of stream flows is very likely to change, with earlier declines of high flows from snow melt in spring, intensification of low flows in summer and greater and more irregular discharge in winter, the article says.

“In Greece and Turkey per-capita water availability may fall below 1,000 m3 yr−1 (the threshold generally accepted for severe water stress) for the first time in 2030,” it adds.

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