Climate change to hurt Greece

Unless the advance of global warming is halted, the average temperature for July in Athens will be 8 degrees Celsius warmer by the end of the century and some 56,000 hectares of coastal land around Greece will be flooded, according to a report presented yesterday. The study was conducted by researchers at the Athens Observatory and unveiled during a conference on the environment in Southeastern Europe organized by the Harokopeio University in Athens. «When we talk about climate change, we are now in a position to talk about certainties,» said professor Dimitris Lalas. The impact of global warming and the knock-on effect it is expected to have will seriously affect Greece, according to the report. The current average temperature for Athens in July is 33 Celsius. This is expected to rise to 41 Celsius between 2071 and 2100. This will have an effect on the demand for electricity, which is predicted to rise by 20 percent as people turn to air conditioning to keep cool. Average rainfall is expected to lessen dramatically but the rising sea level will mean that parts of coastal Greece will be submerged. Some 56,000 hectares or 0.4 percent of Greece’s land mass will be covered by water by the end of the century, according to current rates of global warming. Areas such as the Evros Delta in northeastern Greece and the islands of Lemnos, Corfu, Crete and Rhodes are thought to be in particular danger. However, due to declining rainfall, other parts of the country, such as Athens, will suffer from a lack of water. Athens currently uses 400 million cubic meters of water a year but by 2100 there could be as little as 125 million cubic meters of water available to Athenians.

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