The changes will also affect vegetation and freshwater resources, increasing the risk of armed conflict, the report said. It was first published in June in the Review of geophysics but was recently updated to include new global climate projections ahead of the UN climate summit in November.
The study’s authors, including researchers from the Cyprus Institute’s Climate and Atmosphere Research Center and Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, blamed rising greenhouse gas emissions for the region’s rising temperatures. The area’s arid landscapes and low water levels also make it more vulnerable to climate change, they said.
According to Georgios Zittis, one of the report’s authors, the Middle East has become a world “dominant emitter” of greenhouse gases, overtaking both the European Union and India.
“In the EU we see a decreasing trend in emissions, but that’s not the case in the Middle East,” Zittis said in a phone interview. Most countries in the region are committed to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius this century.
The report emphasizes the urgent need to “decarbonize” the energy and transport sectors in the Middle East through wider use of renewable energy, even as the economies of several countries in the region, such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia, rely heavily on “fossil energy”. are fuel exploitation.”
The researchers found that summers have become drier in the region and that extreme rainfall and precipitation have occurred in less frequent but stronger spurts. The heatwaves will limit outdoor activities and affect key Mediterranean crops such as olives, wheat and barley.
According to the report, the demand for freshwater will increase with population growth and the strain on resources. According to Zittis, the region is likely to see an increase in rural-to-urban migration, whether domestically or across borders.
In southern Iraq, where temperatures have risen by 1.8 degrees Celsius over the past three decades, families have sold their belongings and moved to urban centers Basrathe largest city in the region.
Zittis says the transition won’t be easy and that “multi-year droughts” and competition for resources will fuel conflict. “Where there is social instability, it could be the result of climate change,” he said.