Ground Report | New Delhi: Climate is changing in Middle Eastern; The possibility of the Middle East becoming uninhabitable is not a sensationalist proposition, but rather the dramatic conclusion reached by several investigations into the consequences of climate change in this region, especially in the Gulf area.
Climate is changing in Middle Eastern
Global warming over the years has changed the whole scenario of climatic patterns in the world. It refers to the climatic change that has resulted in long term shifts in temperature and weather patterns. It is a result of both natural changes and human activities. But since the 18th-century human activities have been the main contributor to all the climatic changes.
Short of water, the region, which has more than 500 million people, has seen its temperatures rise twice as fast as the global average, or 0.45 degrees Celsius per decade since 1980, according to scientists.
It is not something that has to be taken lightly or has to be thought of casually. It is doing no good to the world, especially the Middle Eastern countries. The countries there are witnessing an increase in the temperature, especially during Summers. Countries like Syria and Yemen experience droughts and desertification. The once moist countries are now turning dry.
According to the study assessing the consequences of uncontrolled global warming carried out by Nature Climate Change, also published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), extreme heat waves with conditions “intolerable for humans” may become common in the Middle East.
Temperatures and humidity levels higher than anything previously recorded on earth may wipe out cities like Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha according to research. Somewhat less severe but still “extremely dangerous” heat waves occur once every 20 years or so. And if left unchecked, these heatwaves would become “a normal summer day,” according to Elfatih Eltahir, a professor of engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who co-authored the study.
Middle East even hotter and drier
If reports are to be believed, MENA (the Middle East and North Africa) region has more than tripled its greenhouse gas emissions in the last three decades and now emits more than the global average per person, with the Middle East accounting for the majority of the top 10 countries in terms of carbon dioxide emissions per person. The rate at which global warming is taking over the region is alarming.
The dangers of climate change are evident, and the consequences are becoming more palpable and closer every day. Only global, joint and responsible action can put a stop to the boycott that human beings perpetrate day after day with their constant attacks on the environment.
Despite accounting for only 6% of the global population, the Middle East and North Africa area generated 3.2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2018, accounting for 8.7% of global greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Middle Eastern countries are prone to climatic changes because of their demographics, environmental structure and pattern.
Climatic change is not just a scientific issue anymore, in the Middle East it has now become a social and economic issue as well. It has resulted in a decrease in employment and food production. Researchers and climate advocates are of the opinion that if the current scenario continues, then in the near future, the region will become impossible to live in and the temperature could reach up to 60° Celcius or even higher.
The main cause of the climatic changes in these regions is the unmonitored emission of Greenhouse gases as Saudi Arabia and Iran are the 9th and 7th largest emitters of CO2 in the world, accounting for 40% of the region’s emissions in 2018. These nations are also highly reliant on fossil fuels which are also the major source of their income. Thus making it almost impossible to keep a check on the energy sector.
Access to water
More than 12 million people in Syria and Iraq have lost access to water, food and electricity because of increasing temperatures, low rainfalls and frequent droughts. The ongoing climatic changes will also pose a great threat to the geopolitics of the region as there can be a possible conflict over depleting natural resources.
Researchers are of the belief that adaptation and taking innovative measures like using water resources judiciously and using wastewater for irrigation purposes can help in lessening the effects of global warming. They also believe that if the emission of Greenhouse gases is not controlled the region in the coming decades will become impossible to survive in.
The instability within the government also adds to one of the many factors that result in climate change. They lack in implementing firm policies that can govern the usage of plastic and polythene there. Climatic changes have increased the economic disparities, as well. The gap between the haves and have nots has increased. It has led to more alarming global events like wildfires, snowstorms, floods etc. In Middle East regions, climatic changes have also resulted in power outages. Some diseases like malaria, cholera, yellow fever etc are also on the spread. Climatic changes also pose an inevitable threat to the health sector.
Global warming is also a resulting dependence factor in the region, as desertification will lead to a lack of food production and the region will depend on other nations for importing food. Land degradation is another alarming effect of the ongoing climatic changes, which will lead to population migration. It could also contribute to conflicts and cause war-like situations.
What is pertinent to mention here is that there is a dire need for stable and transparent governments, which can value all types of lives. As the region is also suffering from the Covid-19 pandemic adding to the misery is the current internal conflicts going on. Refugees living in tents are suffering a lot due to these conditions already and climatic changes is another threat for them. The populations need to understand as well that protecting their society against global warming should be their goal.
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