Nicosia: The Middle East is warming almost twice as fast as the global average, with potentially devastating effects on people and economies in the Middle East, new climate research shows. A report released ahead of his COP27 climate summit at the United Nations in Egypt later this year said that without swift policy change, more than 400 million people could face extreme heat waves, prolonged drought and sea levels. said to be facing a rise.

Based on data from 1981 to 2019, the study found an average increase of 0.45°C per decade in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean region, with a global mean increase of 0.27°C per decade during that period. Without immediate changes, the region is projected to warm by 5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, pushing some countries beyond the “limits of human adaptive capacity,” the report said. increase. , particularly disadvantaged communities, the elderly, children and pregnant women,” writes his Jos Lelieveld of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and Cyprus. The study covers a region that stretches from Greece and Egypt in the west to Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, to ​​Bahrain, Kuwait, the Gulf states of the United Arab Emirates and Iran in the east.

“Tough Challenge”

The Middle East is not only severely affected by climate change, it is also a major contributor to climate change, says a report first published in June in the journal Reviews of Geophysics and updated this week. . The study shows that the oil-rich Middle East is on track to overtake the European Union within a few years and become one of the world’s leading sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

“Many of the regional impacts of climate change transcend national borders, so stronger cooperation among countries is essential to address the expected negative impacts,” Lelieveld warns. Lead author George Zitis said that “the business-as-usual path of the future” would extend the arid climate zone, and that sea-level rise “means severe challenges for coastal infrastructure and agriculture,” especially in Egypt’s population density. I wrote that it would affect the high Nile delta.

According to the report, “virtually all” areas of life will be “significantly impacted” by hotter, drier climate conditions, which may contribute to higher mortality rates, and the region’s ” Inequality between the rich and the poor could get worse. Delegates from around 200 countries are expected to meet in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in November to follow up on the 2015 Paris Agreement. Fahrenheit) and working toward a safer 1.5 degree cap through drastic emission reductions.

The earth has warmed on average about 1.2 degrees since the industrial revolution. In May, the United Nations World Meteorological Organization said the 1.5 degree target could be breached within the next five years.

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