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How global warming is making weather events more extreme – also in Israel

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And the severity of flash floods is a phenomenon that Israel and the Middle East have experienced in the past and are likely to experience in the future.
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צליל מקורי – מרב MERAV MICHAELI

“It is important to stress that when we talk about the consequences of climate change, we cannot make a direct link with an individual incident, including the latest disasters in Germany,” noted Dr Ori Adam, head of the academic committee of Hebrew. University Center for Climate Sciences. “However, there are specific reasons why climate change is making this kind of event more aggressive.”

The expert explained that as the climate warms, so does the atmosphere.

“A warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture,” he said. “This means that the water content of the air is increasing. At the same time, however, the threshold for the rain to start falling also increases, requiring a more serious anomaly. “

As Adam pointed out, the rain does not start falling just because the sky is full of water, but rather should be seen as a form of instability. Some disturbance is needed for it to start, like rising air.

“When the air rises, it cools down and as a result it can no longer hold all the moisture,” he said.

However, when the atmosphere is warmer, the change must be more pronounced for the rain to begin. In the meantime, it accumulates and this mechanism often leads to much stronger showers.

Precipitation is not the only aspect of flooding affected by global warming.

“Heavy rain isn’t necessarily a problem if the soil can absorb it,” Adam said. “However, hotter days can make the soil surface harder and less porous to water. This means that the water simply flows over it, instead of being absorbed. This is something we see frequently in Israel.

“The Eastern Mediterranean region is perhaps the fastest warming zone in the world,” said Adam.

He said that Israel is witnessing an increase in temperatures and that today the climatic conditions in Hadera are the same as in Beer Sheva 20 years ago. “The trend should continue and reach further north. “

Adam said the most conservative estimates suggest Israel has experienced an increase of 0.2 degrees per decade.

Although no clear trend in terms of annual rainfall emerged, the scientist also pointed out that Israel is only a very limited territory in a larger region, the rainfall of which can be affected by several factors, including the proximity to the coast and the presence of mountain ranges. .

“We have to look at the wider Middle East to see what’s going on. “

Asked how Israel is responding to the challenges posed by global warming, Adam noted that in some perspectives the country is incredibly advanced.

“Thanks to its desalination technology, Israel has no shortage of water,” he said. “Without it our situation would be a disaster. In addition, Israel is a leader in other areas, for example in agritech. We can just think of his drip irrigation system.

On the other hand, there are fronts where the nation is lagging behind.

“Although we have some of the best scientists, infrastructure and university infrastructure are lagging far behind,” he said. “Currently, there isn’t even an institution in the country capable of handling the most modern climate models, including the Israel Meteorological Service. “


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