Precipitation in Turkey’s Marmara region was below the average of the past many years in December, down almost by half.

According to information Anadolu Agency compiled from data by the Turkish State Meteorological Service, the average December rainfall in the Marmara region was 96.4 millimeters over the past many years.

While the rainfall was 70.3 mm in December 2019, it decreased by 28% to stand at 50.7 mm in 2020.

It decreased by 47% in 2020 compared to overall average of past years.

The Marmara region is located in northwestern Turkey that spans Europe and Asia across the Sea of Marmara.

Deniz Demirhan, a meteorology engineer at Istanbul Technical University, told Anadolu Agency that rainfall decreased by half in the Marmara region last month.

“We should first examine whether drop in rainfall is periodical or not. The world is under the effect of an atmospheric phenomenon called La Nina,” Demirhan said.

This year’s extreme high temperatures were recorded under La Nina conditions, which periodically cools down the Earth and brings stormy weather.

Demirhan added that this phenomenon that causes drought especially effects the countries located east of Turkey, where the condition’s effects also felt partially.

Turkey may face water scarcity by 2030

He said global warming also causes drop in rainfall and added: “There has been a decrease in rainfall in the Marmara region since 1980. This situation has been ongoing since long years.”

Noting that Turkey is going through a meteorological drought — which occurs when there is less than average rainfall for a prolonged time — Demirhan said the situation has negative impact on water resources.

He also counted some other reasons behind the situation, including global climate change, misuse of soil and rain water by people, not collecting rain water, as well as not resorting to solar and renewable energy.

“We predict further decrease in the Marmara region in the coming months,” he said.

Highlighting that 2020 was a very hot year, Demirhan said condensation in the sky has greatly increased and even though there are rainfall clouds, it does not fall as precipitation due to heat.

“Turkey will be a water-poor country by 2030,” he said, if the country does not take necessary measures.

*With contributions and writing by Sena Guler in Ankara

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