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News Mediterranean region will be threatened by climate change 2080-2099

Tunis, Tunisia - Severe climate change will threaten the Mediterranean region during the 2080-2099 period with possibilities of annual average temperatures rising from 2.2 to 5.1 degrees Celsius, according to a report issued Thursday in Tunis as part of the celebrations of the international year of biodiversity.

The forecasts were calculated using the findings of a previous studyduring the last 20 years of the previous century (1980-1999), an expertin climatology, Abderrahmane Guennoun, told PANA.

The document, according to the Plan of Action for the Mediterranean (PAM), shows that "the scarcity of water resources and the preservation of biodiversity will constitute the main challenges in the region."

Between 5 and10 per cent of the mammals of the Mediterranean will also be threatened, according to the forecasters.

The Mediterranean basin, which covers about 0.8 per cent of the surface of the seas and oceans and houses about 8 per cent of known marine species, is classified among the 25 richest zones in terms of biodiversity, the report noted.

About 60 million people from the Mediterranean suffer from water scarcity, with an annual average below 500 cubic metres per inhabitant.

The global average for the whole Mediterranean space that houses 7 per cent of the world population is 1,000 m3 per capita.

At the level of the countries south of the Mediterranean, the situation is said to be "particularly alarming," likeTunisia, whose exploitable water quantitiesd o not exceed 4.5 billion m3 per year, according to the Tunisian Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development.

To attenuate the impact, the government has put in place programmes that allow for the mobilization of more than90 per cent of the available resources, that is, "one of the highest rates" recorded in this area.

Among other challenges being faced by the Mediterranean countries are: the ecolo gical deficit, estimated at 1.7 hectares per inhabitant, that is four times more than the world deficit (0.4 ha per inhabitant)," which means that environmental capitalof the region is spent faster than its renewal," the source deplored.

Tunis - Pana 29/05/2010

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News type Inbrief
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Source of information Afriquejet
Keyword(s) water scarcity, climate change, Mediterranean region
Geographical coverage Tunisia
News date 08/06/2010
Working language(s) ENGLISH