09/09/2022, 15.40
MIDDLE EAST
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Global warming set to devastate the Middle East

A report shows that temperatures in the region and the eastern Mediterranean are set rise twice as fast as global average. Models project a 5-degree increase by the end of the century, putting the lives of 400 million people at risk. “Unprecedented” heatwaves will compromise water and food security.

Beirut (AsiaNews) – The Middle East and the eastern Mediterranean are warming at almost twice as fast as the global average, confirming recent fears about the region’s possible desertification, this according to a recent report.

According to certain models, temperatures are projected to rise by 5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century if nothing is done to reverse the trend.

Unprecedented severe and longer-lasting heatwaves will sweep across the region, with rainfall shortages threatening water and food security for more than 400 million people.

The eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East are more susceptible to global warming because of their unique natural features, including large swathes of desert and lower water levels.

The findings are in a report by an international group of scientists, supervised by The Cyprus Institute's Climate and Atmosphere Research Centre (CARE-C) and the Max Planck-Institut für Chemie.

Published by the Reviews of Geophysics, the study highlights the impact of climate change in the region ahead of the UN COP27 climate summit, scheduled for November in Egypt.

Its results are worrying, since they show that this macro-region is warming almost twice as fast as the global average, faster anyway than other inhabited regions of the earth.

The statement released by the Max Planck-Institut für Chemie also forecasts "unprecedented heatwaves” that will have “potentially disruptive societal impacts” on “virtually all socio-economic sectors.”

In addition, in this century the two regions will experience severe rainfall shortages that will end up further compromising water and food supplies, with consequences on a global scale.

Extreme events will include droughts, dust storms, torrential rains, and flash floods. But, more generally, arid climate zones will push north while mountains will lose snow cover.

Last but not least, the study shows that greenhouse gas emissions are rising faster in the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East than elsewhere, and will eventually surpass those of the European Union.

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