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Doruk Doan


Introduction Global Warming and Climate Change Lessons From the Past Climate Change Throughout Ten Thousand Years Discovery of Global Warming The Greenhouse Effect Increase in Greenhouse Gases Evidences of Global Warming in World Nine of the Ten Warmest Years Since 1880 Occur After 2000 Melting of the Ice Cap at the North Pole The Glaciers Are Shrinking Lakes Are Drying Up or Shrinking Sea Level is Rising Some Islands Under Threat Global Warming in Turkey After the Last Age Global Warming in Turkish Media Evidences of Global Warming in Turkey Turkey is Getting Warmer Lakes Are Drying in Konya Basin Historical Evidences of Dried Rivers Evaluation of Historical Evidences Last Word Notes Reference 7 9 9 13 15 17 19 23 24 25 27 35 41 43 47 47 50 54 54 57 66 70 71 72 82

Global climate change is the most serious environmental issue of our time, because its potential effects are so severe that our civilization may substantially be harmed. As a world citizen, I feel obliged to contribute to the struggle against global warming. This work focuses on the effects of global warming in Turkey, which is under great threat due to its position in the desertification belt, and aims to to contribute to peoples awareness of the dangers arising from global warming and to inform those who are not aware of the oncoming disaster. The issue of global warming is not only the most serious problem we have faced until now, but it is also the most difficult one to manage. Because, the technology which causes global warming is so fundamental to world economy that even limiting some aspects of this technology will certainly undermine global social and political order. Considering the fact that nearly 80 percent of world energy supply is provided by fossil fuels and no technological alternatives are available at the moment to replace this energy source cheaply, it is not easy to find a solution to the problem in the near future. The short sightedness of politicians and people in general constitute another aspect of the difficulty of solving the problem. No one feels the problem as it gradually accumulates. It is kind of a boiling frog syndrome1. So, people should be informed of the imminent danger before it is too late. Global climate change is a process of which the consequences will not only affect the future generations, 7

but the present generation as well. We are experiencing the effects of climate change at this very moment. One major aim of this work is, therefore, to display the concrete evidences of global warming throughout the world, but especially in Turkey, because for ordinary people, visual facts are more valuable than scientific words. Knowledge of the truth is the first step to taking necessary measures to overcome this global threat. As people get more aware of the risks ahead, public opinion will force the politicians to act accordingly. So, we should all feel the responsibility for saving our world from a disaster.


The terms global warming and climate change came into usage mainly in the last quarter of the 20th century, although the Earth has experienced many climate changes even after the last ice age. The Earths climate has changed drastically throughout history. The evidences of these changes have been discovered by scientists. The data obtained and analyzed data showing the glacial and interglacial periods. They have made use of ice cores2, boreholes3, tree rings, glacier lengths, pollen remains and ocean sediments. They also studied the changes in the Earths orbit around the sun. These studies prove that during at least the last 650,000 years there is a correlation between CO2 levels and glacial cycles.

As seen from the chart4 above, high CO2 levels lead to interglacial, low CO2 levels lead to glacial periods. 9

Climate changes that the Earth has undergone millions of years ago were caused by such natural factors like volcano eruptions, the Earths orbital changes, and solar energy variations. To understand todays climate change process, it would be quite educative to compare previous warming periods the Earth has experienced. There are lessons for all of us take from what happenned millions of years ago. Cretaceaus Period5 is a geological period covering about 14465 million years ago. The fossil records show that there was a slow shift to a hothouse from 120 million to 90 million years ago. At the end of the Cretaceous Period, a mass extinction wiped out not only dinosaurs, but nearly 80% of living species on the Earth. Among the many theories regarding this extinction, the theory of an asteroid striking the Earth is popular.


Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM)6, which ocurred around 56 million years ago and lasted for 200,000 years, was associated with rapid global warming (rapid only in geological terms). PETM warming is the most recent event comparable with todays global warming. Its main cause was the huge CO2 buildup in the atmosphere. Global temperatures rose around 5C, but the ecosystems were able to adapt to this increase because it was gradual. Even though the Cretaceaus Period is very long compared to the PETM period, the temperature rise is about 5C for both of them. Considering the main underlying cause of warming, current warming can be compared to PETM warming. Doing so, we observe that current warming is about ten times warming. 11

faster than the PETM

At the end of the PETM warming, a new era of Eocene with a complete different climate started. There is certainly a lesson to be taken from the past. A comparison of the PETM global warming with todays global warming is below7:

The modern time global temperature rise (shown in red) seems to have equalled that of the PETM periods (shown in blue). Current global warming is definitely on its way to vastly exceed the PETM warming. Is it too late to avoide the disaster awaiting our civilization? It may be, unless immediate action by all the nations of the world to reduce the buildup of atmospheric carbon dioxide is taken. Otherwise, the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum will not be the last great global warming.



One of the most apparent proofs of global climate change over thousands of years throughout the World is the geological evidence of big lakes turning into vast planes (or deserts). A well-known example is the Sahara Desert. The Sahara Desert, which is the most extensive desert on Earth, was home to some of the largest freshwater lakes on Earth during the Holocene8. Palaeolake Megachad was the biggest of these lakes. Before 7000 years ago, the lake was over 173 m deep with an area of at least 400.000 km2 (154.000 sq mi). The biggest lake on Earth today is the Caspian Sea with a surface area of 371,000 km2 (143.000 sq mi).

Megalakes of the Sahara9 during the Holocene

The old continent of Asia contains regions which once were inland seas. In the late Pleistocene10 postGlacial time, a vast portion of this huge continent was converted into semi-deserts and deserts. 13

The Tarim Desert (the Chinese name Han-Mai means dried-up sea), also named the Takla Makan, continued to dry up for thousands of years.11

The Tarim Desert12 (the Takla Makan) in northwest China.

In northern Tibet, Tsaidam (also known as Qaidam13, which means salt in Mongolian) was a vast salt lake with a surface area of nearly 12.000 sq mi (31.080 km2).
Qaidam Desert, Tibet

Today Qaidam is seen as a salt desert basin with many swamps and small lakes.14 14


Global warming refers to only one aspect of potential effects of increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. But the name of the process we are experiencing is climate change; warming is only among the most discriminating symptoms of this process. The greenhouse effect of the atmosphere was discovered by a French mathematician and physicist named Jean-Baptist Fourier in 1827. He suggested that the Earth's atmosphere was acting as an insulator of some kind, thus keeping the earth warmer than it would otherwise be. The first scientist to propose that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere could alter the surface temperature through the greenhouse effect was a Swedish scientist named Svante August Arrhenius. In 1896, he stated that carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of coal would enhance the greenhouse effect and lead to global warming. In 1938, an English steam engineer and inventor named Guy Stewart Callendar used meteorological data to show that the Earth was getting warmer due to excessive coal burning. His theory that linked rising carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmoshpere with global temperature eventually became known as Callendar effect. But, quite interestingly, he thought that global warming would be beneficial by delaying a new ice age. In the 1940s, despite all the pioneering studies on carbon dioxide and global warming relation, scientists in general thought that emissions from cars and factories did not have much of an effect on the Earth's climate. 15

But, in 1957, an American scientist named Charles David Keeling started work on monitoring CO2 at the South Pole and Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. His first measurement at Mauna Loa showed an average concentration of 315 parts per million. He continued his measurements regularly, and they showed that carbon dioxide levels were rising year after year. The upward trend of carbon dioxide is known as the Keeling Curve; it has now reached nearly 380 parts per million and is continuing to rise.
Charles David Keeling

The Keeling Curve15 above shows global carbon dioxide concentrations starting from 1958, when the actual measurements started. 16


The Earths weather and climate is directly affected by the energy from the Sun. The Earth which absorbs energy from the Sun, also radiates energy back into space. On the other hand, greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor in the atmosphere act as a blanket over the Earths surface, and they absorb the longwave radiation emitted from the surface. So, some of the energy is trapped by the greenhouse gases, and the Earth gets warm. The graph16 below displays how the greenhouse effect works.

In fact, without the greenhouse effect17 the Earth would be so cold that human life probably would not exist. It is calculated that without the greenhouse effect, the average temperature of the Earth would be -18 C. 17

Before the Industrial Revolution in 1780s, the natural greenhouse effect did not lead to any problems. Instead, as mentioned above, it made human life on Earth possible. With the Industrial Revolution, our civilization started making use of fossil fuels and this lead to a huge increase in the amount of greenhouse gases. In other words, the blanket got thicker and the Earth got warmer. The graph18 below displays the correlation between the CO2 concentration and the global average temperature starting from the year 1880, when the fossil fuel usage began to increase dramatically.

In the graph above, the CO2 concentration before 1958 is shown with red. As mentioned earlier, direct CO2 concentration measurements started in 1958 in Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii. For the years before that, ice core samples were analyzed to measure the CO2 concentration. 18

Data for the global average temperatures, on the other hand, depends on actual measurements starting from 1850s19. The degrees in the graph are given in Fahrenheit. So, here are the Celcius equivalents of the minimum and the maximum values: 56.50 F is 13.60 C; 58.10 F is 14.50 C.


It is common knowledge that our atmosphere is composed of two main gases, nitrogen (78%) and oxygen (21%). Both of these gases play important roles in many processes that support life on Earth, but they play almost no direct role in regulating the climate. Instead, some of the trace gases20 in the remaining 1% of the atmosphere contribute to the the greenhouse effect. Among those gases are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, fluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride, and nitrogen trifluoride. They trap more infrared radiation and thereby exert a warming influence on the climate. Let us examine the main greenhouse gases. WATER VAPOR (H2O) Surprisingly, the biggest contributor to the natural greenhouse effect is water vapor. Air over the tropics can contain up to 4% water vapor, whereas air over the polar regions contains little water vapor. But, human activities have little impact on the level of water vapor in the atmosphere. Therefore, this factor remains to be a natural cause. CARBON DIOXIDE (CO2) Carbon dioxide is undoubtedly the most important of the greenhouse gases, since it accounts for the largest proportion and is responsible for about 60% of the enhanced greenhouse effect21. 19

Carbon dioxide occupied larger proportions in the atmosphere billions of years ago, but most of it was used up by early organisms through photosynthesis, then it turned into carbonate minerals, oil shale, coal and petroleum. This process which lasted billions of years left 0.03% CO2 in the atmosphere today. The amount of CO2 taken out of the atmosphere by plants is normally balanced with the amount put back into the atmosphere by natural sources. But, with the Industrial Revolution, our civilization started to burn fossil fuels and release the carbon dioxide stored millions of years ago, which lead to the disruption of the delicate balance of CO2. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased more in the northern hemisphere where more fossil fuel burning occurs. Since the Industrial Revolution the concentration globally has increased by about 40%. METHANE (CH4) Even though its concentration is less than carbon dioxide, it produces 21 times as much warming as CO2. Methane accounts for 20% of the enhanced greenhouse effect. Since the Industrial Revolution, the level of methane in the atmosphere has increased by about two and a half times. NITROUS OXIDE (N2O) N2O makes up an extremely small amount of the atmosphere. However, it is 200 to 300 times more effective in trapping heat than carbon dioxide. Burning fossil fuels and wood is one source of the increase in atmospheric nitrous oxide. Since the Industrial Revolution, the level of nitrous oxide in the atmosphere has increased by 16%. 20

OZONE (O3) Ozone is the triatomic form of oxygen (O3). Tropospheric22 ozone acts as a greenhouse gas. In the stratosphere, ozone is created by the interaction between solar ultraviolet radiation and molecular oxygen (O2). The layer of ozone that begins approximately 15 km above the Earth and thins to an almost negligible amount at about 50 km, shields the Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. HALOCARBONS In this group of gases, which rarely occur naturally, the best known are: o o o Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) Hydroflurocarbons (HFC).

Although the concentration of halocarbons are much lower than those of the other greenhouse gases, their warming effect ranges from 3000 to 13000 times that of carbon dioxide. CFCs, which were used as spray can propellents, solvents, cleaners and coolants until the mid-1970s were banned in 1987 by the Montreal Protocol23. The substitute HFCs, on the other hand, still trap heat in the atmosphere and are adding to the greenhouse effect. These gases resist breakdown in the atmosphere and don't disappear for up to 400 years. Global greenhouse gas emissions due to human activities have significantly grown from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. But, the increase has become dramatic after 1970s, with an increase of 70% from 1970 to 2004.


Global anthropogenic24 greenhouse gas emissions from 1970 to 2004 are shown in the graph25 below. The share of different greenhouse gases are given in terms of CO2 equivalents (CO2-eq).

The most anthropogenic greenhouse gas is CO2, and its annual emission growth rate is about 80% between 1970 and 2004.



Global temperature and CO2 concentration measurements have shown that since the Industrial Revolution, the Earth is warming up consistently. Without human intervention, the Earth would certainly sustain its natural balance for a longer term. Human intervention changed the balance and the warming process got a momentum. The graph26 below shows the effect of the human intervention. The blue line shows how global average temperatures would have changed due to natural forces only. As the blue line indicates, without human influences, temperature over the past century would actually have first warmed and then cooled slightly. Note that the temperatures in Fahrenheit refer to anomalies in the temperature, not the average temperatures.


As mentioned earlier, methodical measurements of the global average temperature started after 1850s. The NASA analysis27 based on these measurements state that nine out of the ten warmest years after 1880 occurred after 2000.
NASA Finds 2011 Ninth-Warmest Year on Record 01.19.12 The global average surface temperature in 2011 was the ninth warmest since 1880, according to NASA scientists. The finding continues a trend in which nine of the 10 warmest years in the modern meteorological record have occurred since the year 2000. NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York, which monitors global surface temperatures on an ongoing basis, released an updated analysis that shows temperatures around the globe in 2011 compared to the average global temperature from the mid-20th century. The comparison shows how Earth continues to experience warmer temperatures than several decades ago. The average temperature around the globe in 0 2011 was 0.92 degrees F (0.51 C) warmer than the mid-20th century baseline.




The most obvious evidence of global warming is the melting of the ice cap at the North Pole29.

North Pole Ice Cap, 1979

North Pole Ice Cap, 2003



Arctic Ice area getting smaller30 The scientists at the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) state that the extent of ocean covered by ice is getting smaller each year. The current rate of shrinkage is calculated to be at around 8% per decade31. GREENLAND ICE SHEET MELTING32

The melt extent over Greenland from 1992 to 2002.



Perito Moreno Glacier33, Patagonia, Argentina

Glaciers can be thought as remnants from the last Ice Age which started approximately 100.000 years ago and ended around 11.700 years ago. During the last Ice Age, ice covered nearly 32 percent of the land, and 30 percent of the oceans. At the present, glaciers occupy about 10 percent of the world's total land area.34 Melting of the glaciers all over the world is a direct and indisputable evidence of global warming. The changes in area, thicknes and mass of glaciers have been recorded since 1894 when the Commission Internationale des Glaciers was founded in Zurich, Switzerland. Today, the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) continues the collection and publication of information about glaciers and ice caps.35



September 18, 1986

August 5, 2002

The 2002 image shows a retreat of nearly 10 km (6.2 miles) of the glacier on the left side. 28


June 29, 1909

September 4, 2000



July 30, 1909

August 11, 2004



July 1958

August 14, 2003



July 20, 1909

August 5, 2005



Autumn, circa 1956

October 18, 2007







Lakes are also subject to the impacts of global warming. But, some lakes have dried up because of human intervention to boost up agricultural production. The well-known example of such a lake is the Lake Aral, which was also known as the Aral Sea, located between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in the Central Asia. Formerly one of the four largest lakes in the world with an area of 68,000 square kilometres (26,300 sq mi), the Aral Sea has been steadily shrinking since the 1960s after the rivers that fed it were diverted by the Soviet43 irrigation projects.

The Aral Sea in198544

The Aral Sea in 200945

The approximate shoreline of the Aral Sea is shown in the photograph on the right.


SHRINKING LAKE MEREDITH Lake Meredith46 is a reservoir formed by the Sanford Dam on the Canadian River in the Texas panhandle. Continuous drought has diminished water levels significantly in the past few years, leading to a record low in 2011.

June 18, 1990

June 12, 2011

Light tones at the lower end of the lake (2011) indicate dry land and former shores. Bright green indicates healthy vegetation along the river beds and irrigated fields in the upper center of each image.


SHRINKING OF GREAT SALT LAKE, UTAH, USA Dramatic change in the area of the Great Salt Lake occurred over the past 25 years.47

August 1985

September 2010

The 2010 image shows the lake shriveled by drought. VANISHING LAKE FAGUIBINE, MALI Lake Faguibine48, in northern Mali, was among the largest lakes (approximately 590 km2; 228 sq mi) in West Africa. During the droughts of the 1970s and 1980s, the Lake began shrinking and in the 1990s it dried up completely.
Image taken between January 3, 1974 and December 26, 1978


The 2010 wet-season satellite image shows a pool about 35 square kilometers (14 square miles) in area (six percent of the 1974 area).

January 18, 2010

Lake Fagudine on Google Maps, February, 2012


DRYING LAKE URMIA, IRAN Irans Lake Urmia49 is the largest lake in the Middle East and the third largest saltwater lake on Earth. Expanded use of ground water, and a decades-long drought have reduced it to 60 percent of the size it was in the 1980s. The lake is expected to be completely dry by the end of 2013, if the current rate of drying continues.

August 1985

August 2010

SHRINKING LAKE CHAD, AFRICA Lake Chad in December, 1930. Air photo taken by Swiss pilot and photographer Walter Mittelholzer (1894-1937)50. 39

Persistent drought has shrunk Lake Chad, once the worlds sixth largest lake, to about onetwentieth of the size it was in the 1960s51.
December 8, 1972



As Lake Chad has receded, large wetland areas (shown in red) have replaced open water.52



For many reasons, global sea level rise can not be measured exactly. The sea level rise measurements in different parts of the world are also different. However, it is undoubted that there is a correlation between sea level and climate extremes.53 Over the past century, the Global Mean Sea Level (GMSL) has risen by 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters). Scientists get this information from core samples, tide gauge readings, and, most recently, satellite measurements. And, most importantly, the annual rate of rise over the past 20 years has been 0.13 inches (3.2 millimeters) a year. This is roughly twice the average rate of the preceding 80 years.54 The rise in global sea level is caused by three main factors: Thermal expansion: Nearly half of the 20th century's rise in sea level can be attributed to warmer oceans, because warmer sea occupies more space. Melting of glaciers and polar ice caps: In summer, large ice formations, like glaciers and the polar ice caps, naturally melt a certain amount. In winter, snow balances out the melting. But, as global warming leads to melting greater-than-average, snow in winter can not balance out the loss. This imbalance causes sea levels to rise. Ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica: Global warming is causing the massive ice sheets that cover Greenland and Antarctica to melt at an accelerated pace. Higher sea temperatures are causing the massive ice shelves extending out from Antarctica to melt from below and break off.55 41

The graph56 shows nearly 20 cm rise in sea level from 1880 to 2010. It is expected that the oceans may rise between 2.5 and 6.5 feet (0.8 and 2 meters) by 2100. A complete meltdown of the Greenland ice sheet, on the other hand, would push sea level rise to 23 feet (7 meters), enough to submerge cities like London, Los Angeles and New York.57 42


According to some researchers, some islands close to the sea level are about to disappear in the near future due to rising sea levels: Atoll Group of Takuu, Kiribati Islands, Kilinailau Islands, Maldives, Vanuatu Island, Tuvalu Islands, Marshall Islands, and Tonga Island. ATOLL GROUP OF TAKUU, PAPUA NEW GUINEA

The atoll group of Takuu is especially vulnerable to the effects of rising sea levels. The erosion of the island takes place at an alarming rate.

The Island of Nukutoa in the atoll group of Takuu58 in 1970


The Island of Nukutoa59 in 2001

One of the first films to record a community evacuating their homeland because of climate change probably is There Was Once an Island60 (2010). The documentary film directed by Briar Marsh won the Grand Prix in Pacific International Documentary Film Festival (FIFO).


LOHACHARA AND SUPARIBHANGA ISLANDS, BAY OF BENGAL In a news which appeared in the Independent in 2006, it was reported that researchers at Calcutta's Jadavpur University discovered two small islands which had been lost to rising sea level due to global warming in the 1980s. The islands were so remote that the researchers first learned of their submergence, when they saw they had vanished from satellite pictures.61 Of the two islands, Lohachara was inhabited and had a population of nearly 10,000 in the 1970s. As the island was gradually flooded by the sea, the inhabitants left the island.

Map of Lohachara Island62 in India, in 1954 (up). Lohachara Island not seen in Google Earth image in 2012 (left).


Thus, the island of Lohachara was accepted as the first inhabited island to disappear due to global warming.63 But, according to a scientific paper published in 2003, the two islands, namely Lohachara (inhabited) and Suparibhanga (uninhabited), actually disappeared, but their disappearance was mainly due to erosion.64 Interestingly, some bloggers on the internet claim that the island of Lohachara came into existence again. One of the bloggers wrote that one of the former inhabitants of Lohachara visited the place where his house once stood. According to this man a huge landmass was coming up and covering the island.65 KIRIBATI ISLANDS The average height of the Kiribati Islands which are located in the Pacific Ocean is approximately 2 meters (6.5 feet).

The village of Tebunginako is located on Abaiang, one of Kiribati's remote outer islands, and sea level rise has already forced the residents to relocate their houses.66 46


Turkey is quite sensitive to climatological changes due to its geographic location on the Northern hemishere.67

Turkey lies between the parallels of 26 and 42 degrees and it is near the high pressure areas consisting of descending air in the upper tropics. These high pressure areas are extending over Turkey as a result of global climate change. Furthermore, low pressure centers and warm-cold fronts (polar fronts) related with them are moving away from Turkey to the North. These delicate geographical properties are causing aridity in Turkey.68 Most importantly, most areas in Turkey are under the risk of desertification, resulting from mainly climatic changes and human activities.


Global Desertification Vulnerability Map69

The map shows how vulnerable Turkey is to desertification

Like the rest of the World, Turkey has been experiencing climate change ever since the last Ice Age, which ended 11.700 years ago. The evidences of this slow but effective process have been found in geological researches. An apparent example is the Ancient Konya Lake in the Middle Anatolian Region that consists of Konya, umra, Karaman, Ereli, Karapnar plains. The average depth of the lake which occurred in the Pleistocene was 15-20 metres. The level of the lakes water began to decrease due to drought in especially the Holocene.70 Today, there are traces of embankments, passive cliffs, sand deposits and shorelines in the vicinity of morphological units surrounding the Ancient Konya Lake.71 48

Near Bozda, passive cliffs of the Ancient Konya Lake72

Eski Konya Gl (Ancient Konya Lake) and Eski Tuz Gl (Ancient Salt lake) are shown in the geomorphological map73



News about the impacts of global warming in Turkey began to take place in the media gradually in the 1990s. In the 2010s, as the public awareness grew, so did the amount of news in the media. More conferences and congresses on climate change took place in big cities like stanbul and Ankara. Many non-government organizations and individuals felt the responsibility of informing the public on the subject. The news and articles which were in Turkish are summarized in English:

Streams have dried74

Trout generation died out in streams dried due to draught in Balkesir 06.08.2007 The villagers told the reporter that the yearlong running stream of narl in the district of Gnen in Balkesir province have dried. Therefore the trout generation in the stream has also died out. Village headman Necati zkurt said: The stream of narl was 10 meters wide and had a depth of 2 meters ever since I knew it. It is the first time that it dried. The farmers are in trouble now. We are all going to pray for rain.


Flamingos paradise dried75

17/09/2011 Flamingos living in Acgl (Sour Lake) between Denizli and Afyonkarahisar provinces left the lake because of ongoing draught. Prof. Rait Urhan stated that 176 species of birds from 20 families were living at Acgl. He said: Some species of ducks and predator birds are not seen anymore. Industrial usage of lake water, draught due to low precipitation affects the lake ecosystem negatively.

Carbon emission increased at record level76


Carbon emissions caused by enegy usage last year increased 5 percent compared to the year before and reached a record level.

Resim u anda grntlenemiy or.

(Metin Gne / CNN TRK / London) International Energy Agency (IEA) stated that this record increase was a dramatic failure in the struggle for keeping the global warming increase level at 2%, which was set as a target at the United Nations meeting in Cancun.


Millions of fish died in Lake Ladik77

Water level of Lake Ladik decreased to 50 cm due to extreme warm weather. Excessive usage for irrigation brought the end of life in the lake. Since the oxygen in lake water decreased, all dead fish were driven ashore. Hseyin Mutlu, director of Ladik Nature and Environment Preservation Association, said: The lake was 8 km wide, but it receded 2 km due to global warming and excessive irrigation. The floating islets are not floating anymore.

Floating islets on Lake Ladik78


2700 year-old Rusa dam dried79


Kei Gl (Lake Kei), also known as Turna Gl (Lake Turna), is in fact an artificial lake which was built as a dam by Urartu king Rusa II (c. 685-645 B.C.). The lake surviving 2700 years has now almost dried. Teymur Aslan, headman of village Kratl in Van province, told the reporters that the orchards covering thousands of acres of land in the surrounding villages are about to die.



Along with the global average temperature rise throughout the World, Turkey has also experienced a parallel temperature rise in the last 30 years. But, in Turkey the average temperature rise has been increasing rapidly after 1990s, whereas it has increased rapidly after 1980s in most of the World. In summer, minimum meaningful increasing trend. temperatures show a


Yearly minimum summer temperatures. The dotted line represents long term average value. 80

The increasing trend in yearly average temperatures is continuing after the cold year of 1992.


Yearly maximum temperatures, on the other hand, have a dramatic increasing trend in the Mediterranean, the South Eastern Anatolia and the southern parts of Eastern Anatolia.


Yearly average temperatures. The dotted line represents long term average value. 81

Turkey will possibly be among the most affected countries by climate change impacts. Using PRECIS (Providing REgional Climates for Impacts Studies) model and reference period (1961-1990) and corresponding future period (2071-2100) simulations have been generated to predict the effects of climate change in Turkey. According to the results of simulations, 5-6 C increases in mean temperatures were projected, except the coastal regions, for the period of 2071-2100. The scenario covers two separate periods of 30 years which are 110 years apart from each other. The comparison between the two periods are best summarized in the following graph:


Yearly average minimum temperature change graph for the years 1961-1990 and 2071-2100, according to HadAMP3 A2 scenario.82





The most striking evidence of global warming in Turkey is what people actually observe in their lifetimes: drying streams and lakes. Although the most vulnerable parts of Turkey are the southern provinces, even in the Marmara or the Black Sea regions in the North there are examples of drying lakes. According to General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works (DS) data, some lakes have either dried completely, or have lost their characteristics as a lake: Yay, l, Engir in Kayseri province; Akehir, Eber, Akgl, Hotam and Yunak in Konya province; Simav in Ktahya province; Glck in zmit province; Ece in anakkale province; Sera in Trabzon province; Avlan in Antalya province.83 Global warming is not of course the only reason for some of the lakes and streams to dry. Human intervention, such as excessive use of lake water for irrigation purposes, is sometimes the main reason for a lake to shrink. But, one should bear in mind that, excessive use of lake water is the result of low precipitation, which is caused by global warming due to anthropogenic greenhouse effect. Therefore, the important point is the outcome of all these factors; that is, drying of the lake. Streams on the other hand, are drying mainly due to global warming. Especially in the southern parts of Turkey, where climate change is felt more, many streams have dried long time ago. In the Eastern Anatolian Region, average flowrates of even the biggest rivers like Euphrates and Tigris have decreased. 57

The lakes in the Konya Basin vulnerable to global warming are shown in the map below.84 The dates refer to the years that the lakes dried up.

As of 2012, some of the lakes named in the map are not totally dry, but have lost their former levels of water. Kulu Gl (Lake Kulu), which dried in 2008, started to collect water again, and in 2011 it had almost 70% of its former water capacity. Effective rain and snow after the 2008 draught and diversion of some small streams to the lake revived it.85 Will this revival be permanent? Global warming continues to affect the region and any recoveries doom to be temporary. The lakes of Konya Basin are striking examples of global warming in Turkey. 58

LAKE AKEHR Until the 1990s Lake Akehir had a surface area of 353 km2 (136 sq mi) and was the fifth largest lake in Turkey. Draught and excessive usage of its water for irrigation starting from 1997 lead to its drying in 2006. After the fall of 2008 it began to collect water again due to heavy rains. In 2009 its surface area was 30 km2 (11 sq mi) and in 2011 its surface area reached 80 km2 (31 sq mi). But, at the end of 2011 it shrinked again by 20 km2 (7 sq mi).86

Lake Akehir from satellite in 2011.87


Lake Akehir in 1990s88

Lake Akehir in 200689


Lake Akehir; view from the hill in 200790

Lake Akehir; tractor on the lake in 200791


Lake Akehir in 201192

Nasreddin Hodja trying to make yoghurt by yeasting Lake Akehir in 201093


LAKE BURDUR With its surface area of 153 km2 (59 sq mi) Lake Burdur is still the seventh largest lake in Turkey.94 Its surface area was 200 km2 (77 sq mi) in 1990.95 But, as of 2011, it has shrunk by almost 25% and its water level has decreased about 12 meters.

Satellite images of Lake Burdur; 1990 (left) and 2010 (right)96

Lake Burdur in 201197


LAKE TUZ Lake Tuz (Salt Lake) was the second largest lake in Turkey with its 1.665 km2 (643 sq mi) surface area.

Map (1970) and satellite image of Salt Lake98

Salt Lake in 201199 64

From 1987 to 2005 Salt Lake shrinked nearly 60%. In 1987 its area was 926 km2 (357 sq mi) and in 2005 it became only 325 km2 (125 sq mi).100

Comparative satellite images of Salt Lake for May and August 1987 and May and July 2005101



Along with drying lakes, drying streams are witnessed in some parts of Turkey. After a few decades of draught, and especially in summer, many streams in southern parts of Turkey are either completely or partly dry. More news about dry streams in summer take place in local newspapers in the last ten years. According to local elderly people, these streams used to flow yearlong in the near past. A bridge on a dry river bed is not uncommon in the Central Anatolia Region and the Mediterranean Region. The direct evidence of a dried river or stream is the bridge over the river bed. As mentioned earlier, the desertification of the Middle Anatolian Region, especially the Konya Basin, is a continuing process which started after the last ice age. The evidences of dried rivers and streams which once used to flow yearlong are historical bridges from the Byzantine, the Seljuk and the Ottoman periods102. A research paper on the historical bridges in Konya focuses especially on the district of Meram, but gives a satisfying picture of the process of global warming experienced in the Konya Basin. What happened to the rivers and streams of Meram, is typical of other rivers in the Konya Basin. The research is based on actual observations and information gathered from the elderly people in the region. Some of the bridges have inscriptions on them, so that the date of constuction or repair can be verified, but most of them are in ruins, because they have been out of use for a long time. 66

LEDER BRIDGE ileder Bridge is a historical bridge between the Karadigin and Kayal villages in the district of Meram, Konya, on the dried stream of Yatmaca. Information about the bridge are taken from the accounts of Hasan nal (date of birth: 1949) from Karadigin, and Celil Doan (date of birth: 1940) from Kayal. Also, local poet smail Detseli (date of birth: 1945) from the neigboring village of Gkyurt (Gilistra) states that this bridge was on the old silk road.103

ileder Bridge on the dried Yatmaca Stream, Meram, Konya.

Although there is a Latin inscription (not readable) on the west side of the bridge, the material used and the style implies that it is from the Seljuk period. Its length of 39,85 meters suggests that at the time the bridge was built a river was flowing under it yearlong. 67

GMSE BRIDGE Historical bridge of Gmse is on the dried stream of Koca ay in Meram, Konya. The 29-meter-long bridge was near the once important Ottoman village of Gmse. This bridge is also from the Seljuk period.104
Gmse Bridge in Meram, Konya.

KAVAK KY (VILLAGE OF KAVAK) BRIDGE This historical bridge, in the district of Meram, Konya, from the Seljuk period was repaired by the villagers in 1965, but is not in use now. The bridge, being on the old Dinorne Road (the name comes from an ancient settlement near the village), was built on a stream which used to flow into the May Baraj (May Dam), which was built in 1958, in umra, Konya. As the picture (next page) tells us, the stream is dry. 105
Kavak Ky Bridge in Meram, Konya.


AK KPR (WHITE BRIDGE) This bridge from the Seljuk period is on a dry stream near the village of Hatunsaray in the district of Meram, Konya. It is on a trade route and its length is 29.5 meters.
Ak Kpr106 in Meram, Konya


Old Divle Bridge in Meram, Konya.

The Old Divle Bridge takes its name from an ancient settlement in Meram, Konya.107 The stream which joined the stream of Koca Dere, on which the Ayranc Baraj (Ayranc Dam) was built in 1958, is now dry. 69


In this work, only some of the historical bridges in the Konya Basin are covered, especially those bridges in the district of Meram which was on the caravan route to and from Konya in the Seljuk and the Ottoman periods. Although the province of Konya consists mainly of plains, there are valleys, rivers and streams in areas near the Taurus Mountains. As the abundance of historical bridges imply and as the geomorphological studies reveal, there used to be rivers and streams flowing yearlong in those areas of the Konya Basin. The drying of rivers and streams are sometimes caused by human intervention, such as diversion of the streams and building dams for irrigation purposes; but, most of the streams in the Konya Basin seem to have dried naturally by global warming even before any human intervention. In the 20th century, however, both geographical studies and documented changes in the geography of the region validate the effects of anthropogenic global warming.


The aim of this study is to display the evidences of climate change in Turkey, especially in the Konya Basin where many lakes have dried or are about to dry in the near future. The technical information in the first chapters of the book have been simplified, so that not only the experts, but everyone who is interested on the subject can easily comprehend the problem we are all facing. Visual material and graphs are self-explanatory and, generally more useful than detailed technical data. This work focuses on the most affected region of Turkey, namely the Konya Basin. A revised version of this work would cover other regions as well. Can global warming be prevented? Whatever the answer is, it is for sure that not some people but everybody living on this planet should feel responsible to try to stop it. People should be informed of the risks and dangers ahead of humanity and our civilization. This book, I hope, will contribute to this purpose.


1 Boiling frog syndrome is a metaphore used to describe the inability of people to react to changes occurring gradually. If a frog is placed in boiling water, it will immediately jump out; but if it is placed in cold water that is slowly heated, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death. Ice core is a cylindrical section of ice removed from a glacier or an ice sheet in order to study climate patterns of the past. By performing chemical analyses on the air trapped in the ice, scientists can estimate the percentage of carbon dioxide and other trace gases in the atmosphere at a given time. Borehole is any exploratory hole drilled into the Earth or ice to gather geophysical data. Climate researchers often take ice core samples, a type of borehole, to predict atmospheric composition in earlier years. .html Lee J. Kump, The Last Great Global Warming, Scientific American Magazine, July 2011: 57-61. Ibid. Ibid. The Holocene is the name given to the last 11,700 years of the Earth's history. It covers the time since the end of the last "ice age." hp 72

4 5

6 7 8

Image taken from: odex/bodele_shorelines.pdf

10 The Pleistocene is the time period that spanned from 2.6 million to 11,700 years ago. .php 11 The information was taken from D. N. Wadias work printed in 1953. The text is published online: 67eb.pdf Below is the original header of the text:

12 This image was captured on March 26, 2004, by theModerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite. 52 13 Image taken from: 14 73

15 The Keeling Curve graph was taken from: html 16 The graph was taken from: 17 A greenhouse is a structure that market gardeners use to grow vegetables in. It is covered in clear plastic or glass to let the sun light in. It traps the heat inside, thus increases the temperature. As the greenhouse gases constitute a blanket around the Earth, they effectively turn the Earth into a greenhouse. 18 The graph was taken from: html 19 Many sources state that detailed information about world temperature exists since 1850, when methodical thermometer-based records began. Scientific papers generally use the values starting from 1880. 20 Trace gases are less common gases found in the Earth's atmosphere. Although relatively unimportant in terms of their absolute volume, they have significant effects on the Earth's weather and climate. 21 Enhanced Greenhouse Effect refers to the concept that the natural greenhouse effect has been enhanced by anthropogenic (by human activity) emissions of greenhouse gases. 22 Troposphere is the lowest part of the atmosphere from the surface to about 10 km in altitude in mid-latitudes (ranging from 9 km in high latitudes to 16 km in the tropics on average) where clouds and "weather" phenomena occur. 74

23 For the full text of Montreal Protocol: 24 Anthropogenic factors are those which are caused by human activity. 25 Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report - Summary for Policymakers, IPCC Plenary XXVII Valencia, Spain, 1217 November 2007, p. 5. 26 The graph was taken from: -review-draft/usp-prd-all.pdf 27 The news was taken from: 28 The chart taken from: 29 The photographs were taken from: html 30 Images taken from: tm 31 Ibid. 32 Image taken from: _Final/ACIA_Ch06_Final.pdf 33 Image taken from: 34 75

35 36 Image taken from: index.cfm. Source: USGS Landsat Missions Gallery, "Patagonia Region - Retreating Glaciers," U.S. Department of the Interior / U.S. Geological Survey. 37 Ibid; 1909 picture photographed by Sidney Paige. 2000 picture photographed by Bruce F. Molnia. Source: Glacier Photograph Collection, National Snow and Ice Data Center/World Data Center for Glaciology. 38 Ibid. 1909 picture taken by Ulysses Sherman Grant. 2004 picture taken by Bruce F. Molnia. Source: Glacier Photograph Collection, National Snow and Ice Data Center/World Data Center for Glaciology. 39 Ibid. 1958 picture taken by Austin Post. 2003 picture taken by Matt Nolan. Source: Glacier Photograph Collection, National Snow and Ice Data Center/World Data Center for Glaciology. 40 Ibid. Photographed by Ulysses Sherman Grant on July 20, 1909 and by Bruce F. Molnia on August 5, 2005. Courtesy of the Glacier Photograph Collection, National Snow and Ice Data Center/World Data Center for Glaciology. 41 Ibid. 1956 picture taken by Erwin Schneider; courtesy of the Association for Comparative Alpine Research, Munich. 2007 photo taken by Alton Byers; courtesy of the Archives of Alton Byers and the Mountain Institute. 42 Image taken from: 43 The Soviet Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) is a former country which included the modern-day Russian Federation and a number of adjacent states, 76

including the Baltic states (Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania), Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and others. The Soviet Union was a major world power during its existence, until its collapse in 1991. 44 Image taken from: =STS51F-36-59 45 Image taken from: 944 46 Images taken from: Images taken by the Thematic Mapper sensor aboard Landsat 5. Source: USGS Landsat Missions Gallery, "Shrinking Lake Meredith, Texas," U.S. Department of the Interior / U.S. Geological Survey. 47 Ibid. Source: Images taken by the Thematic Mapper sensor aboard Landsat 5. Source: USGS Landsat Missions Gallery, "Great Salt Lake1985-2010," U.S. Department of the Interior / U.S. Geological Survey. 48 Ibid. Source: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). From Africa Water Atlas (2010); Division of Early Warning and Assessment (DEWA), UNEP, Nairobi, Kenya. 49 Ibid. Images taken by the Thematic Mapper sensor aboard Landsat 5. Source: USGS Landsat Missions Gallery, U.S. Department of the Interior / U.S. Geological Survey. 50 Image taken from: 77

51 Image taken from: 1972 image from Landsat 1. Courtesy of the U.S. Department of the Interior / U.S. Geological Survey. Taken from the USGS Landsat Missions Gallery. 52 Images for 1973, 1987 and 1997 are taken from: 53 Mikdat Kadolu, 99 Sayfada Kresel klim Deiimi (Climate Change in 99 Pages), stanbul: Trkiye Bankas Kltr Yaynlar, 2007, p. 33. 54 55 Image taken from: fects-of-rising-sea-levels/ 56 Graph taken from: GMSL_figure.pdf 57 58 Image taken from: 59 Image taken from: 60 Image taken from: 5400 61 78

62 Map taken from: Original source: U.S. Army Map Service. Compiled in 1954. 63 Mikdat Kadolu, 99 Sayfada Kresel klim Deiimi (Climate Change in 99 Pages), stanbul: Trkiye Bankas Kltr Yaynlar, 2007, p. 16. 64 Tuhin Ghosh and others, Application of a 'bioengineering'technique to protect Ghoramara Island (Bay of Bengal) from severe erosion, Journal of Coastal Conservation, Volume 9, 2003, pp. 171-178. 65 hara-lost-and-found.html 66 Image taken from: 67 Map taken from: 68 Mikdat Kadolu, 99 Sayfada Kresel klim Deiimi (Climate Change in 99 Pages), stanbul: Trkiye Bankas Kltr Yaynlar, 2007, p. 52. 69 Map taken from: 70 Tahsin Tapur, Eski Konya Glnn Etkileri (Impacts of Ancient Konya Settlements), Karadeniz Aratrmalar Researches), Volume: 6, Issue: 23, pp. 99-115. 71 Ibid. 72 Ibid. 79 lk Yerlemelere Lake on First (The Black Sea Ankara: 2009,

73 Ibid. 74 Dereler kurudu (Streams dried), hlas Haber Ajans, 16.8.2007. 75 Flamingolarn cenneti kurudu (Flamingos paradise dried), Yeni a Newspaper, 18.9.2011. 76 Metin Gne, Karbon emisyonu rekor seviyede artt (Carbon emission increased at record level), CNN, 30.5.2011. 77 Ladik gl kuruyor(Lake Ladik is drying),, 4.8.2007; also: 78 79 80 smail Demir and others, Trkiyede maksimum, minimum ve ortalama hava scaklklar ile ya dizilerinde gzlenen deiiklikler ve eilimler (Changes and trends observed in maximum, minimum, and average air temperatures and precipitation series in Turkey), Ankara: TMMOB Meteorological Engineers Chamber, 2008. 81 Ibid. 82 smail Demir and others, PRECIS Blgesel klim Modeli ile Trkiye in klim ngrleri: HadAMP3 SRES A2 Senaryosu, IV. Atmosfer Bilimleri Sempozyumu, Bildiriler Kitab, stanbul: T Uak ve Uzay Bilimleri Fakltesi Meteoroloji Mhendislii, 2008, pp. 365-373.


83 deki-goller-birer-birer-kuruyor 84 1 85 86 87 88 790&rid=4369&p=1 89 790&rid=4369&p=2 90 170&rid=2&p=1 91 170&rid=2&p=2 92 93 Nasreddin Hodja, who is believed to have lived around 13th century in Akehir in Konya province, is considered a populist philosopher and wise man, remembered for his funny stories and anecdotes. His yeasting of the Lake Akehir is to ridicule people who believe in the impossible. The picture was taken from: 94 BC 95 AnaBritannica, stanbul: Ana Yaynclk, 1994. 81

96 Images taken from: 97 98 &b=tuz-golu-petrol-araniyor 99 100 DetayV3&ArticleID=938445&Date=02.06.2009&Categor yID=85 101 102 Byzantine period: 4th century to 15th century AD; Seljuk period: 9th century to 15th century AD; Ottoman period: 14th century to 20th century AD. 103 Remzi Duran, Tarihi Konya Kprleri (Meram lesi) (Historical Konya Bridges [District of Meram]), OrtaaTrk Dnemi Kazlar ve Sanat Tarihi Sempozyumu 15-17 Ekim 2008 anakkale - Bildiriler (Symposium on Middle Age Turkish Period Excavations and History of Art October 15-17 2008 anakkale - Papers), ed. A. Osman Uysal and others, zmir: anakkale 18 Mart niversitesi Yaynlar, 2010, pp. 155-156. 104 Ibid; pp. 157-158. 105 Ibid; p. 160. 106 Ibid; p. 158. 107 Mehmet Bildirici, Tarihi Su Yaplar Konya (Historical Water Constructions Konya), Ankara: General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works (DS), 2009, pp. 346-348. 82

Books: Bildirici, Mehmet, Tarihi Su Yaplar Konya (Historical Water Constructions Konya), Ankara: General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works (DS),2009. Climate Change Indicators in the United States, ed. Jason Samenow, Washington: United States Environmental Protection Agency, April 2010. Demir, smail, and others, PRECIS Blgesel klim Modeli ile Trkiye in klim ngrleri: HadAMP3 SRES A2 Senaryosu, IV. Atmosfer Bilimleri Sempozyumu Bildiriler Kitab, stanbul: T Uak ve Uzay Bilimleri Fakltesi Meteoroloji Mhendislii Blm, 2008. Denhez, Frdric, Kresel Isnma Atlas (Atlas du Rechaufment Climatique [Global Warming Atlas], translated from French to Turkish by: zgr Adada, stanbul: NTV Yaynlar, 2007. klim Deiiklii & Trkiye (Climate Change & Turkey), Ed. Gven alar, Ankara: Birlemi Milletler Kalknma Program (UNDP) Trkiye Ofisi, 2007. Kadolu, Mikdat, 99 Sayfada Kresel klim Deiimi (Climate Change in 99 Pages), stanbul: Trkiye Bankas Kltr Yaynlar, 2007. Mastrandrea, Michael D. and Schneider, Stephen D., Prepare For Climate Change, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2010. Preparing for Climate Change: A Guidebook for Local, Regional, and State Governments, Washington: Center for Science in the Earth System, 2007. 83

Spence, Chris, Global Warming: Personal Solutions for a Healthy Planet, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. Trkiye klim Deiiklii Kongresi TKDEK 2007 Bildiri Kitab (Reports Book of 1st Climate Change Congress of Turkey TKDEK 2007), ed. Ahmet ztopal and Zekai en, stanbul: TKDEK, 2007. Research Papers: Bahadr, Muhammet, Akdeniz Blgesinde Scaklk ve Yan Gelecekteki Elilimleri ve Olas Sonular (The Future Trends and Possible Consequences of Temperature and Precipitation in the Mediterranean Region), Uluslararas Sosyal Aratrmalar Dergisi (The Journal of International Social Research), Ankara: 2011, Volume: 4 Issue: 19 Demir, I. Kl, and others, Trkiyede maksimum, minimum ve ortalama hava scaklklar ile ya dizilerinde gzlenen deiiklikler ve eilimler (Changes and trends observed in maximum, minimum, and average air temperatures and rain series in Turkey), Ankara: TMMOB Meteorological Engineers Chamber, 2008. Duran, Remzi, Tarihi Konya Kprleri (Meram lesi) (Historical Konya Bridges [District of Meram) Ortaa-Trk Dnemi Kazlar ve Sanat Tarihi Sempozyumu 15-17 Ekim 2008 anakkale - Bildiriler (Symposium on Middle Ages Turkish Period Excavations and History of Art October 15-17 2008 anakkale - Papers), Editors: A. Osman Uysal and others, zmir: 2010.


Tahmisciolu, M. Sait, and others, Possible Effects of the Global Climate Change on Water Resources and Floods in Turkey, International Conference on Climate Change and the Middle East Past, Present and Future, stanbul: 2006, pp.227-234. Tapur, Tahsin, Eski Konya Glnn lk Yerlemelere Etkileri (Impacts of Ancient Konya Lake on First Settlements), Karadeniz Aratrmalar (The Black Sea Researches), Volume: 6, Issue: 23, Ankara: 2009, pp. 99-115. Uyank, Necmi and Sar, Muhammed, Cumhuriyet Dneminde Yaanan Kuraklk Felaketleri zerine Bir Deerlendirme (An Analysis of the Drought Disasters in the Period of Republic), Tarihin Peinde (In Pursuit of History), Year: 2011 Issue: 5, pp.141-176. Wadia, Darashaw Nosherwan, Evolution of the Arid Zone of Asia Desiccation of Central Asia, New Delhi: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 1953. (Limited distribution) Magazines: Hertsgaard, Mark, On the Front Lines of the Climate Change, Time, April 9, 2007: pp. 84-91. Online News Channels:


Websites and Blogs: /03/08/PNG.takuu.transportation/index.html 790&rid=4369&p=17 _cografya/bahadir_muhammet.pdf .pdf _cografya/bahadir_muhammet.pdf ruleri.pdf apilari.pdf 1316012/Application_of_a_bioengineeringtechnique_to_protect_Ghoramara_Island_Bay _of_Bengal_from_severe_erosion