Mountain Adaptation Outlook Series: Outlook on Climate Change Adaptation in the South Caucasus Mountains
Changes in climate patterns are already evident in the South Caucasus countries – Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia. Annual temperatures are increasing accompanied by severe heat waves and droughts. More extreme weather events, such as heavy rains and unusual hail storms, and changes in precipitation patterns are also linked to climate change. Human casualties, damage to infrastructure and economic losses are increasing due to intensifying natural disasters such as floods, landslides and mudslides.
In the region, the majority of natural disasters occur in the mountains, which cover the largest territory of the South Caucasus. These disasters threaten not only mountain inhabitants and critical infrastructure but also people living in the lowlands. Moreover, poverty rates are higher and gender inequality more profound in mountain regions than in lowland and urban centres, where access to basic resources such as energy and water is secured. The national trends towards a warmer and drier climate (with some exceptions) will continue leading to serious consequences such as water shortages and desertification in all three countries.