Climate change and forestry in Turkey: impacts and adaptation measures
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Turkey has various climate types in different regions. A Mediterranean climate prevails in Turkey’s Mediterranean and Western Anatolian regions, a temperate climate with high precipitation in every season along the Black Sea coast, a continental climate in the inland regions and a semi-arid climate in Central and South-eastern Anatolia. Most precipitation occurs in the winter months. Total annual rainfall is least in the low-lying areas of eastern Anatolia (220mm), and highest along the eastern Black Sea coast (2420mm). The average annual rainfall for the entire country is 643 mm, generating a water potential of 501 billions m3/year. Turkey has about 21.3 million hectares of forest area that covers around 27.2% of the country’s land area. Half of the total forest area is high forests and the remaining is coppices. Forests are generally located on mountainous areas and they are usually natural and semi-natural with high biodiversity values. It is expected that climate change will seriously affect Turkeys’ forests. Dalfes at al. (2007) analyzed the climate data from 113 stations of the State Meteorological Service in Turkey for the period between the years 1951-2004 and they observed that winter precipitation in western Turkey has decreased significantly whereas autumn precipitation has increased at stations in the northern parts of central Anatolia. The reason behind these changes is not well understood, and the need for more comprehensive study is underlined. The authors report widespread increase in summer temperatures mostly in the western and southwestern parts of Turkey while winter temperatures show a general tendency to decrease. The more significant changes are concentrated in coastal stations. Stream flow data based on measurements from 1969 to 1998 indicate a decreasing trend in western and southwestern regions and some increase in the north.