“Climate change is an age old process”

Climate system: a complex and interactive system involving the atmosphere, land, ice, oceans, other bodies of water and life. While this system has gradually changed in time, under the influence of its own internal dynamics and with the changes in external factors, the human-induced climate changes have had negative consequences within a very short period of time.

Istanbul University Faculty of Letters Geography Department Physical Geography Division Head Prof Dr Barbaros Gönençgil assessed climate change: one of the biggest problems of the world.

Expressing that climate change has two main reasons, Prof Dr Gönençgil stated that one of these reasons is natural and the other rely on human factors.

Prof Dr Gönençgil emphasized that climate change needs to be addressed in a broad range, and stated that it is not just a current problem, but a natural cycle that has existed for thousands of years and that it will continue to exist.

Stating that natural causes emerge after thousands of years of process and that they occur outside of the human factor Prof Dr Gönençgil gave the natural processes as follows: “Solar energy and changes in these energies, sunspots, and atmospheric compositions, lead to climate change. In this sense, the natural changes that have been happening numerous times in our world, which is 4 billion 600 million years old, continue to happen.”

Explaining that the harms human beings have caused to the environment reveal changes in the climate, Prof Dr Gönençgil said: “Human beings are changing the surface cover of the earth and the changes in this surface cover indirectly affect the climate”.

Saying that human factors result in negative Prof Dr Gönençgil continued: “When we look at the last 100-150 year period, the increasing population, the use of fossil fuels, changes in the surface properties of the earth, deforestation, urbanization and the industrialization brought by urbanization, the presence of gases given to the atmosphere thus creating more greenhouse effect aggravates the results of the existing process”.

“The world has been warming up for 20 thousand years”

Prof Dr Gönençgil expressed that although the climate change is now in the direction of warming, when you look at the periodic periods, both warming and cooling can be seen and for the last 20 thousand the world has been warming up.

“Global warming is only the warming side of climate change”

Prof Dr Gönençgil explained: “With warming, glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising and coastal areas are being affected more and more. But with the temperature also the evaporation increases. While the glaciers melt into the water, these masses of water cause more moisture through steaming and cause heavy rains. These extreme weathers can also lead to erosion and mass movements”.

Prof Dr Gönençgil, who said climate change is both warming and cooling, stated that global warming is the warming side of climate change.

Protection of Endemic Species

Prof Dr Gönençgil who mentions that the destructing nature harms endemic species said: “The important point to note in this process is the existence and protection of endemic species. We have to eliminate the destruction we have given to nature.  Because if the vegetation extinct, the chances of returning are very low.”

Prof Dr Gönençgil said: “When people reduce the amount of damage they give to the environment, they’ll be reducing the damage they are giving to the climate as well. The only thing we should be doing is to stop polluting the environment. Not polluting the nature, the seas, not harming the atmosphere, in short protecting the atmosphere and the planet. Every positive action taken against the climate change minimizes the harm people have done.”

Prof Dr Gönençgil added: “Instead of using non-renewable sources of energy, especially when we return to more renewable energy sources in electricity generation, the concept of cleaner energy will emerge through less fossil fuel use. Consuming less electricity for warmth and light is the efficient use of energy. Today, thanks to technological possibilities, efficient use of energy is possible.”

Saying that environmental education should be given to everyone, Prof Dr Gönençgil ended his speech: “Climate change is a natural incident. But it becomes harmful with human interference. Therefore we need to invest in climate literacy and inform the public.”

Story by Beste BUDAN

Photos by Compromiso RSE

Translated by Ece GÖÇ

IU Press and Public Relations

Featured News


IU School of Business AACSB International Accreditation is renewed


Istanbul University is Ünilig’s 2017-2018 Season Champion


IU Faculty of Pharmacy student Buğra Özgün’s great success


Istanbul University Dragon Boat Races were held


Azerbaijan Consul General of Istanbul Mesim Hacıyev visits IU Rector Prof Dr Mahmut Ak


Conference on "The Origin of Language" was held in Istanbul University