Why is the city of Jerusalem’s skyline in decline?
- by admin
The sky is green, the ground is covered with weeds, and the people are still going about their business.
Yet for every hour that the sun shines and the ground absorbs the sun’s rays, Jerusalem loses more than half a million people each year, according to a recent study by the Israeli Institute for Population Research.
For a city with a population of more than 200 million, that’s a problem.
The city’s skyline is in dire straits.
The Israeli Institute of Geography and the Jerusalem District Planning Authority, a joint venture of the Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian governments, recently published a study that found that Jerusalem has lost nearly 30% of its height since the late 1960s.
In some areas, the city’s buildings are taller than those of Tel Aviv and its neighboring city of Ramallah, according the report.
The city’s roads are clogged, the sidewalks are crumbling and the water table is dropping.
In a city that’s built in the shadow of Mount Hermon, the highest mountain in the Land of Israel, the impact of climate change is especially severe, said Rima Zuroff, the head of the Jerusalem municipality’s climate change planning committee.
In the past few years, the temperature on Mount Hermoin has risen by more than 15 degrees Celsius.
As a result, the mountain is sinking into the sea.
According to the Israeli government, that sea level rise will affect the entire West Bank by the end of this century.
“Climate change is not a distant, abstract problem,” Zurof said.
“It’s here right now.”
For a city built in a landscape that’s so rich in vegetation, the water has always been an issue.
For the first two decades of the 20th century, the land was covered in lush green vegetation, including olive trees, and in the late 1950s, Israel opened up its vast natural resources to the world.
But the land has been disappearing for decades.
The Israel Water Authority has estimated that some 15 million cubic meters of water per day disappear from the water system each year in the West Bank, according a study by Israel Water.
The water is not just lost to the sea, it’s also lost in the ground and in groundwater.
“What happens in the arid and arid-tundra is that the groundwater is depleted and it gets trapped, it becomes saline and it’s not usable,” said Dr. Dov Cohen, the director of the Israel Water and Environmental Research Center, a division of the IESR.
“This is why, if you want to go out into the field, you need to use a lot of salt water.”
While the land is not completely dry, the lack of rain and snow has made it even more difficult for the city to grow its crops.
According the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture, Israel has lost an average of 40% of the farmland it has cultivated in the past 50 years.
The amount of water lost to evaporation, the main source of rainfall in the country, is estimated at 6.6 billion cubic meters, or enough to fill the state of Nevada for a year.
The land has also been destroyed by droughts and flooding.
The government’s plan to increase the number of homes that can be built each year by 5% would only increase the amount of damage to the landscape, the study said.
In the West, “if you can’t grow your crops and you can only feed your families and feed your people, you don’t grow a lot,” said Cohen.
While the city has tried to alleviate its environmental problems through new policies, the damage caused by climate change continues to worsen.
According a 2015 report by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Jerusalem is the most polluted city in the world, with a concentration of air pollution exceeding that of Rio de Janeiro and Paris.
A recent report by Bloomberg News, based on data from a private company, estimated that the country has already lost 6 million cubic feet of rainwater per day, or nearly 4,000 cubic meters per day.
In some areas the water is so polluted that it’s impossible to wash it away.
In other areas, it turns into a deadly chemical, the United Nation’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said in a 2016 report.
According with the study, one of the most hazardous pollutants is nitrogen oxide (NOx), which is an invisible gas that reacts with water, causing it to boil.
According, a chemical known as formaldehyde is also emitted from building materials, causing them to melt.
The study estimated that more than 100 million tons of NOx and formaldehyde were released into the air each year.
Despite the dire state of the city, some residents are determined to keep up with the city and its citizens.
Last summer, the government began allowing citizens to travel to Jerusalem from outside the city limits, a move that some welcomed as a way to better connect with the people. The
The sky is green, the ground is covered with weeds, and the people are still going about their business.Yet for…