Recent accelerated climate change has exacerbated existing environmental problems in the Mediterranean Basin that are caused by the combination of changes in land use, increasing pollution and declining biodiversity.
This review article compiles information on climate change, related impacts and risks in the Mediterranean region.
It is underlined that observed rates of climate change in the Mediterranean Basin exceed global trends for most variables, including temperature and sea-level trends. Information on the impacts of climate change on people, infrastructure and ecosystems is also given.
The study clusters the combined risks arising from these forcings into five major interconnected domains: water resources, ecosystems, food safety and security, health and human security. Specific information is given for each domain, highlighting the importance of interconnections and synergies.
Regarding the compiled information the authors call for a pan-Mediterranean integrated risk assessment. It is stated that observations and the scientific capacity for risk assessment are available around the Mediterranean, but resources are unevenly distributed and some of the most vulnerable regions and economic sectors are insufficiently studied. Decision-makers have inadequate access event to the existing knowledge, which is stated to may be caused by insufficient networking and exchange between experts due to different factors. To contribute to overcoming these barriers, to identify knowledge gaps and to provide unbiased information to policy-makers, an international network of more than 400 scientists has been established: the Mediterranean Experts on Environmental and Climate Change (http://www.medecc.org/).
Cramer et al. (2018) Climate change and interconnected risks to sustainable development in the Mediterranean. Nature Climate Change 8:972-980.