A weekend fire that razed one of the two remaining forests near Athens will lead to higher summer temperatures, more air pollution and perhaps winter flooding, experts said Monday.
The fire, 11 miles north of the capital, was the latest in a series of blazes that threaten to leave Greece without forests in the next century.
Since 1979, fires have consumed nearly 2 million acres of forest around the country. The state has only managed to replant 193,000 acres. At that rate, Greece will be devoid of forests in 2025, according to the Institute of Forest Research.
The three-day wildfire razed 15,000 acres of forest and destroyed more than 25 homes on Mount Pendelikon, where the ancient Greeks mined the marble used to build the Parthenon temple. The last remaining forest around the capital is on Mount Parnis, 12 miles north of Athens.