Middle East warming twice as fast as global average - report
Temperatures in the region are expected to rise up to 9 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century
The Middle East and the eastern Mediterranean are warming nearly twice as fast as the global average, an international report said on Tuesday.
A group of scientists overseen by the Cyprus Institute’s Climate and Atmosphere Research Center and the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry discovered that temperatures in the region are expected to rise up to 9 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century if no action is taken to battle climate change. The warming trends in the Middle East are caused by large desert expanses and lower water levels.
According to the report, nearly 400 million people living in the area will suffer from “unprecedented” heat waves, long-lasting droughts, rainfall shortages and dust storms, which will in turn lead to food and water shortages. Most vulnerable groups, including the elderly, children and pregnant people, will face major health challenges, Max Planck Institute Director Jos Lelieveld warned.
His colleague, Dr. George Zittis, who co-authored the report, also pointed out that the sea level in the region is projected to rise.
“This would imply severe challenges for coastal infrastructure and agriculture and can lead to the salinization of coastal aquifers,” the scientist said.
The findings were revealed ahead of the UN climate summit in Egypt that will take place in November.