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Climate Change in Cyprus: Impacts and Challenges By City Tech Blogger Michalis Photiou

Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing the planet today, with Cyprus being no exception. Located in the eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus is known for its warm, sunny weather and beautiful beaches. However, as global temperatures continue to rise, the island is experiencing a range of impacts that threaten its natural environment, economy, and way of life.

Firstly, one of the most visible impacts of climate change in my country is the increase in extreme weather events, such as droughts and heatwaves. In recent years, Cyprus has experience some of the hottest and unbearable summers, with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius. These extreme heat events have not only made life unbearable for locals and tourists alike but have also had serious economic consequences. Farmers are struggling to maintain their crops and businesses. The tourism industry is suffering from reduced visitors.

Secondly, consequences of climate change in Cyprus are the increased risk of wildfires. The island’s forest and vegetation are vulnerable to fires, especially during the hot and dry summers. Climate change has increased this risk, with rising temperatures and reduce rainfall making the vegetation dry and easier to ignite a fire. In recent years Cyprus has experienced some of the worst wildfires in its history. Widfires destroyed tons of forests and villages. The most recent one that occurred destroyed almost 5 villages and tons of forests.

Thirdly, another impact of climate change in Cyprus is a threat that poses to all islands. As sea levels continue to rise, coastal areas of the island are becoming more vulnerable to flooding. This is concerning. Especially given that much of Cyprus’s attractions and housing is concentrated in coastal areas. As I said Cyprus is known for the beautiful beaches but those are in danger to be lost in the process of sea level rise.

Unfortunately, many people, including myself, have already been affected by the consequences of climate change. One of the most devastating impacts that I experienced firsthand was a wildfire that occurred in my area two years ago. The wildfire started in a nearby village and quickly spread to my village, burning everything in its path, including my house. Although no lives were lost, many people, including myself, lost their homes and belongings. For some, it was their primary residence, and for others, it was a vacation home. The tragedy left many people without anywhere to stay, which is a heartbreaking situation.

Finally, climate change is also affecting Cyprus biodiversity. The island is home to two specific endemic species like the Cyprus mouflon (a type of sheep) and the Cyprus viper. However, as temperatures continue to rise, and the increases of wildfires, these species may struggle and may eventually go extinct.

Despite the danger posed by climate change in Cyprus, there is still much work to be done to address the issues. The government of Cyprus have already taken steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including investing in renewable energy sources like solar and wind power. However, I believe there is still much to be done, for example, all this time in Cyprus there is not a single electrical train or trains in general. In this case, everyone is driving to their destination with a result of more gas emissions.

In conclusion, climate change is a significant challenge for Cyprus. This is true especially in economic, social, and environmental consequences. Urgent action is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, develop more sustainable infrastructure, and most importantly to educate the public about the dangers of climate change. Cyprus needs to adapt and mitigate the worst effects of climate change and to protect the people, island, and its unique culture for future generations.

References:

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1265346/area-burned-by-wildfire-in-cyprus/

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259740139_The_Cyprus_mouflon_a_threatened_species_in_a_biodiversity_hotspot_area

Image: https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/976/cpsprodpb/16890/production/_119240329_gettyimages-1233801790.jpg.webp

 

 

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