ATHENS – Heatwaves and climate change will continue to dry out Greece, including more droughts, but there’s little chance of widespread areas being turned into deserts or totally parched, said European Union research.
That was based on scientific models used and research conducted based on recent temperature increases and rainfall decreases and the effect over the next few years not seen being critical.
“What we have been experiencing in recent years is a rise in temperature and an increase in drought, along with a decrease in rainfall, and this combination is leading to the hot and dry conditions we are seeing,” Christina Anagnostopoulou, an associate professor in the Geology Department at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, told the state Athens-Macedonian News Agency AMNA.
“Fires are a result of this dry-heat condition, as the more drought there is, the easier it is for fires to spread. If these conditions continue, then there could be areas in Greece that will face problems, such as the Cyclades and eastern Crete, which already receive only small amounts of rainfall,” she said.
Wildfires again hit the country and especially the islands of Rhodes – where 19,000 tourists had to be rescued – as well as Corfu, and arson was blamed for many of the 1,470 that broke out in July.
Anagnostopoulou clarified that, “We are not yet in the desertification part.
The term ‘desertification’ refers to the degradation of land in arid and dry areas both from a biological point of view and in terms of economic productivity.”