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Global warming has in recent years become more and more visible in Romania just like in any other country
2022 was the third warmest year in recorded history, with an average temperature of 11.7 degrees Celsius and a 1.55-degree difference against the average temperature measured between 1981 and 2010, a survey of the National Meteorological Administration shows.
The warmest five years between 1900 and 2022 were: 2019, 2020, 2022, 2015 and 2007, and the period between 2012 and 2022 proved to be the warmest 11 years in a row, which confirms the tendency of weather warming in Romania as well.
Furthermore, this year saw the warmest January day in recorded history when 22.5 degrees Celsius were reported in southern Romania.
"So, statistics prove what we all have seen for many years now that climate change affects the entire planet. And we can no longer speak about a local or national problem" says Environment Minister, Barna Tanczos. This opinion is also shared by climatologist Roxana Bojariu, who in the following minutes will be explaining how Romania's weather has changed in the past two decades.
Roxana Bojariu: "It didn't happen all of a sudden, you know. We have witnessed the global warming for quite some time now, but the problem is that this is an accelerating process. It has been doing so in the past years but unfortunately the process continues and is getting worse as more greenhouse gases are accumulating in the atmosphere. We are feeling this here in Romania as well. And even if we had warm winters and periods with temperatures higher than usual before, the weather this year was very strange for the cold season and that was not only in Romania but in the entire Europe. So, if we draw the line and compare the temperatures in the northern hemisphere, we'll clearly see they are higher than usual, which confirms the idea of accelerated climate change. And this isn't visible only in winter. If you remember last summer proved to be the hottest in Europe in recorded history and the drought affecting the continent was the severest in the past 500 years."
Last year's drought also affected Romania but the Environment Ministry has given assurances they have resources to fight climate change. According to him, the section Forests and Biodiversity Protection, part of the National Plan of Recovery and Resilience, includes a total budget of roughly 1.2 billion euros, which can be used to increase the surface of forests. Barna Tanczos has underlined that forests are the most resilient when it comes to climate change effects. He recalled that the National Forestry Strategy was endorsed last autumn with a view to setting mandatory norms on afforestation and reforestation as well as on forests and forested surfaces located in areas that are vulnerable to climate change.
"At the same time, owners of forests and plots of land are being given incentives to preserve and capitalize on the true potential of these surfaces. They will benefit from 456 Euros per year per hectare for 20 years, in order to turn these areas into real forests. The forestry carbon reward is a measure through which we stimulate the transformation of as many plots of land as possible into future forests," Minister Tanczos explains. Roxana Bojariu tells us more about the future of the climate change and what we should expect next.
Roxana Bojariu: "The weather is not going to remain like that of course and even in the optimistic scenario when we have succeeded in limiting the rise of the global temperature to 1.5 Celsius under the Paris Agreement, we are still going to see higher temperatures. However, they will not be as high as in the worst case scenarios, where we haven't managed to impose a limit. And this means not only a uniform warming in space and time but also extreme phenomena like those we have already witnessed. Suchlike phenomena will be affecting Romania as well, and the situation will worsen with the growing greenhouse gas emissions. Every tenth degree in the global average translates into hotter heatwaves and Romania will be in for more intense, more frequent and more persistent heatwaves. These will also cause wildfires although not like those affecting the Mediterranean countries, Greece, southern France or Portugal."
The statistics of the meteorological alerts between 2017 and 2022 in Romania highlight the intensity, frequency and wider area covered by the dangerous phenomena with an impact over the social-economic activity. In 2022 alone, 130 weather alerts were issued, out of which five were Code Red. Roughly three thousand Nowcasting alerts were issued out of which 95 Code Red. At the same time, the 2021-2022 drought was a longer one, which intensified from one month to the other and eventually affected almost all the country's agricultural regions.
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