A geologist talks to Sky News Arabia about his expectations for what awaits the Mediterranean region in the not long term, from other changes in the climate, and what he described as an "environmental revolution", and what he proposes in terms of a solution to prevent them.

Taking place in the UAE from November 28 to December 30 this year, the COP12 Climate Summit aims to accelerate the reduction of climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions before 2030, accelerate the transition to renewable energy, and put climate finance into effect more effectively.

At the end of last October, Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Chairman of COP28, stressed that the presidency of the conference focuses on achieving tangible results and a qualitative shift in climate action, by strengthening constructive partnerships, unifying efforts and consolidating consensus.

This year, the Mediterranean region witnessed a severe series of hurricanes, floods and devastating earthquakes, including Hurricane Daniel, which hit Greece and then northern Libya, and the Morocco earthquake, which occurred in one month, last September, and left thousands dead and injured.

"Ecological revolution"

Professor of geology, environment and climate change Ahmed Matabeh predicts the explosion of what he described as an "environmental and geological revolution" in the Mediterranean Sea as a result of climate change.

As for the indicators of this "revolution", he says:

  • Increased global warming in the atmosphere, rising water temperature in the sea, with tectonic movement due to convection currents in the "stenosphere" at a depth of 100 km under the lithosphere.
  • The temperature of the Mediterranean sea water has reached more than 15 degrees Celsius, and it is rare to form hurricanes at such temperatures, and although autumn has theoretically begun, the weather is still hot.
  • Tectonically, the African plate continues to collide with the Eurasian plate, and the tremors do not subside, and here is the fear of a devastating earthquake in Greece and the northern Mediterranean countries.
  • Recent activity of 3 volcanoes has been recorded in the Ionian Sea, which portends nearby volcanic eruptions in the middle of the underwater sea, which could cause devastating tsunamis to the 11 riparian countries.
  • One solution is to work to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide and methane.

Doubling the odds of disasters

In a September report on a World Weather Attribution study of floods in Spain, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria and Libya, resulting from extremely heavy rains, it was stated that "human-induced climate change has increased the likelihood of such events 10 times and increased their intensity by up to 40 percent in the region, including Greece and parts of Bulgaria and Turkey."

An extreme cyclone such as the one observed in Libya is up to 50 times more likely and up to 50 percent more severe, compared to a climate 1.2 degrees Celsius colder, according to the study.

Faster pace

For his part, the Mediterranean assessment report spoke about the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) under the title "Climate and environmental change in the Mediterranean basin... The current situation and future risks", more than two years ago, said that climate change in the Mediterranean basin is happening faster than global trends.

The current average annual land and sea temperatures in the Mediterranean basin are 1.5 degrees Celsius higher than in pre-industrial times, and could rise by 3.8 to 6.5 degrees Celsius by the end of this century, unless serious action is taken to curb climate change.

The report, prepared by the Independent Network of Mediterranean Experts on Climate and Environmental Change, notes that the sea is likely to warm more in the deep Mediterranean than in other seas and oceans of the world, and the high concentration of carbon dioxide will increase the acidity of the Mediterranean surface waters.

While sea levels have risen by 6 centimetres in the last <> years, the increase is likely to reach a metre if Antarctic ice melts accelerates.