The Middle East is warming at nearly twice the global average, a new climate study suggests, threatening potentially devastating effects on its people and economies.
The report, released ahead of the UN’s COP27 climate summit in Egypt later this year, said more than 400 million of its people would face extreme heat, prolonged drought and sea level rise, barring sharp policy changes. We do.
The study found an average increase of 0.45 °C per decade in the Middle East and the eastern Mediterranean, based on data from 1981-2019, during which the global average increase was 0.27 °C per decade.
Without immediate changes, the region is projected to warm by five degrees Celsius by the end of the century, possibly exceeding the “critical threshold for human adaptability” in some countries, the report said.
“People will face major health challenges and livelihoods risks, especially from disadvantaged communities, the elderly, children and pregnant women”, wrote Jos Lelieveld of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and the Cyprus Institute, both of which supported the research. gave.
The study covers an area stretching from Greece and Egypt in the west to Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, and the Gulf states of Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Iran in the east.
The Middle East is not only seriously suffering from climate change, but has also become a major contributor to it, the report first published in June in the journal Geophysics Review and updated this week.
The study shows that the oil-rich Middle East is on course to become one of the world’s leading sources of greenhouse gas emissions, overtaking the European Union within several years.
Leliveld warned that, “as many of the regional consequences of climate change are cross-border, stronger cooperation between countries is inevitable to deal with the expected adverse impacts”.
Lead author George Zetis wrote that the “business-as-usual route for the future” would expand arid climate zones, and rising seas would “signify serious challenges to coastal infrastructure and agriculture”, particularly in Egypt’s dense Affects the populated Nile Delta.
According to the report, “almost all” areas of life will be “severely affected” by warmer, dryer climate conditions, potentially contributing to increased mortality and “disparities between the more affluent and poorer populations” of the region. are increasing.
Delegates from nearly 200 countries are due to meet in November in Egypt’s Red Sea resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh to follow up on the 2015 Paris Agreement, in which nations agreed to limit global warming to “well over” two degrees (3.6 degrees). had promised. Fahrenheit) and working towards a safer 1.5 degree cap through comprehensive emissions reductions.
The planet has warmed an average of about 1.2 degrees since the anti-industrial period. In May, the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization said there was also a possibility that the 1.5° target would be breached within the next five years.
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