Climate Change Affects Cappadocia Negatively; Nevşehir Hacı Bektaş Veli University Cappadocia Geological Heritage and Rock Carving Structures Application and Research Center Director Prof. Dr. Mutluhan Akın said that due to the heavy snowfall in Nevşehir and the increased humidity in the last 5 years, the wear of the geological structures that make up the Cappadocia Region has accelerated.
Fairy chimneys in the Cappadocia Region, which is on the UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage List, are affected by climate change that is effective all over the world. According to meteorological data, the wear of the geological structures that make up the Cappadocia Region has accelerated due to the heavy snowfall in the Nevşehir Region and the increased humidity in the last five years.
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“Cappadocia is eroding over time”
Dr. Mutluhan Akın said, “The fairy chimneys in the region are composed of a type of volcanic rock we call ignimbrite. Ignimbrites are particularly sensitive to water effects and water has an important effect on the deterioration of ignimbrites. Naturally, the fairy chimneys in the region are the product of this material, which we call ignimbrite. This material has a long geological history. In time, it was shaped by various factors such as water, and formed today’s fairy chimney structures.
Of course, our ignimbrite rocks that make up these fairy chimney structures decompose over time through water and other atmospheric effects. While new fairy chimneys are forming in the region on the one hand, the existing fairy chimneys are undergoing a deterioration process and disappearing on the other hand,” he said.
“The humidity has increased”
Pointing out that the humidity rate has increased in Cappadocia, Akın said, “When we look at the climatic data, there is a statistical data that the humidity in the air in Nevşehir province and its immediate surroundings has increased from approximately 50 percent to 57 percent in the last 5 years. Of course, the humidity in this air. The increase in the rate of increase is partially effective on the deterioration of the fairy chimneys in the region. However, this moisture in the air needs to be absorbed by the fairy chimney rocks. Due to global climate change, we receive irregular precipitation and from time to time very dry seasons pass. From time to time, we are faced with precipitation that is much higher than expected.
Whether it’s rain or snow, this irregular climate regime can naturally have various negative effects on the rocks in the region. Particularly in the rainy seasons, since more water will be taken into the structure of the fairy chimneys, there will be more in the pores of the fairy chimneys, and the deterioration processes of ignimbrites over time are accelerated, albeit partially. It is not possible to date the fairy chimneys in the near future, but the deterioration process of the fairy chimneys continues, of course, from time to time we witness the falling of the hats of the fairy chimneys. This is a natural process that will continue in its own natural process.”