By Nigar Orujova
Global warming has made its way into Azerbaijan by warming up the country at the heart of winter.
A report by head of the Geography Institute of the National Academy of Sciences Maharram Hasanov shows that temperature throughout Azerbaijan has increased by 0.2-0.9 degrees Celsius.
Referring to the sudden climate change in the country, he said: "At first glance, 0.2-0.9 degrees may seem too low, but it isn't. The International Meteorological Organization estimates that the average temperature across the globe stands at 14 degrees Celsius at present. If the temperature increase by another two degrees, all the glaciers on the planet will start melting, big waters will change directions, and evaporation and precipitation will increase,"
Geography Institute of the National Academy of Sciences has been studying information gathered from weather stations across Azerbaijan in three periods - 1881-1960, 1961-1990, and 1991-2005.
The study reveals that the highest temperature increase was observed in the low-lying areas, and only slight increase was recorded in the mountainous areas.
Hasanov connects these developments to the global warming, which has been on the rise because of greenhouse gases emission around the world. Azerbaijan is believed to produce 0.1 percent of the worldwide greenhouse gas emission.
"The problem may be solved partly by reducing the Carbon Dioxide emission by using treatment facilities at the factories around the planet," he said.
The study also displays a reduction in the number of cloudy and windy days in Azerbaijan. As the number of sunny days increases, the amount of precipitation decreases by 15-80 mm.
Alarming consequences In the near future, Azerbaijanis who left the country for years may not recognize their motherland due to climate changes. The mostly mild and warm Azerbaijani nature may no longer be so kind and hospitable to the population.
Climate change in Azerbaijan will lead to fewer crops in the next 20-30 years, Hasanov said. This will put the government in trouble to provide the population with enough food.
"Grain is a strategic product. Reduction of its production is unprofitable for the country. Currently, several countries are trying to reduce the export of grain. In this regard, Azerbaijan can face a food problem in the future," he said.
Special attention must be paid to planting and developing drought- resistant crops in the country, Hasanov said.
The law precipitation index would have many consequences since the country has both plains and mountainous areas. Thus, the area of distribution of moisture-loving plants will decrease, borders of landscape areas and high humidity areas will change in mountain areas, and the lower bounds of forest areas will rise.
The geography institute has already prepared a plan with appropriate adaptation measures, the implementation of which will be needed in the future.
However, the forecasts are not so pessimistic; because of climate change, Azerbaijan farmers can work in areas far above the sea level. In addition, climate change will create conditions for further expansion of cotton cultivation areas.
Sunny weather can also be used as a source of alternative energy.
There's no doubt that these changes will also affect the population's health. However, the people will manage to adapt themselves to the changes, he concluded.
The severe weather conditions that we have witnessed around the globe during the last few years depict a dark future. All this is due to low public attitudes towards the planet. However, this trend can be changed gradually by increasing public awareness about
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