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Is the Mediterranean Basin really a hotspot of environmental change ?

mardi 9 mars 2021

The Mediterranean basin, which includes the Mediterranean Sea and the countries it borders, is often referred to as a hotspot for climate change and biodiversity. This image is used to illustrate the multiple risks for the region, its people and its ecosystems. A new analysis of the scientific literature co-authored by 120 scientists concludes that the sum of climate change, pollution, unsustainable use of land and sea, and the invasion of nonnative species has induced these overlapping risks that are often underestimated.

Concerning the existence of the hotspot, the answer is both yes and no. It is no if we mean that the Mediterranean region has warmed faster than other regions. It is true that increases in air temperature have now reached +1.5°C compared to the pre-industrial period (1850-1900) while the global average increase has just exceeded +1°C. However, this is not surprising since all of the world’s land surfaces have warmed more than the atmosphere above the oceans. The strongest warming occurs at high latitudes with a speed twice that of the global average. The Mediterranean, being semi-enclosed and relatively shallow, is warming faster than the global ocean (+0.3°C to +0.4°C per decade vs. approximately +0.2°C globally.


Voir en ligne : The Convesation du 28/02/21 par Joël Guiot et Wolfgang Cramer

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