We are all aware of humanity’s impact on climate change, but are meteorological researchers taking the idea too far by blaming Istanbul’s rapid urbanization for a series of “freak mini-tornadoes” that have recently hit the city? In an article published by Turkey’s daily newspaper, Hürriyet Daily News, NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction claims that these strange occurrences could be attributed to the way Istanbul’s new outer edges are built.

Meteorological research, Istanbul tornado, tornadoes, environmental destruction, Istanbul, Turkey climate change, climate change, global warming, natural disaster

The article, with the headline “Istanbul tornadoes (are) a ‘result of urbanization’,” stresses the fact that tornadoes are extremely rare in Istanbul and the recent urban sprawl might be causing a change in huge air masses forming over the city. The newly built outer edges of the city are, supposedly, thermally problematic, as they make different temperatures rise and could possibly create freakish tornadoes that rip through local neighborhoods.

Related: Physicist Wants to Build 1,000-Foot Walls to Prevent Tornadoes from Destroying the Midwest

Occurrences such as the heat island effect are well established facts in researching the consequences of urbanization. Climate change and rising sea levels have been undoubtedly related to carbon emissions and global warming, but the article at hand seems to be taking a giant leap of faith as it provides very little practical evidence to support the claim. However, the data that has been provided by Dr. Martin Hoerling, a research meteorologist specializing in climate dynamics at the NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory, clearly state that Turkey is experiencing dramatic consequences of climate change. “Temperatures in Turkey will rise by 5-10 percent from 2046 to 2065. If they increase an average of 3 degrees, it will mean a 20-30 percent decrease in precipitation,” said Hoerling.

+ NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction


Lead image via Shutterstock, Images by Justin Hobson and Radomil