POST Online Media Lite Edition



 

Climate-exodus expected in the Middle East and North Africa

Staff writer |
Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and the Cyprus Institute in Nicosia have calculated that the Middle East and North Africa could become so hot that human habitability is compromised.

Article continues below






The goal of limiting global warming to less than two degrees Celsius, agreed at the recent UN climate summit in Paris, will not be sufficient to prevent this scenario.

The temperature during summer in the already very hot Middle East and North Africa will increase more than two times faster compared to the average global warming.

This means that during hot days temperatures south of the Mediterranean will reach around 46 degrees Celsius (approximately 114 degrees Fahrenheit) by mid-century. Such extremely hot days will occur five times more often than was the case at the turn of the millennium.

In combination with increasing air pollution by windblown desert dust, the environmental conditions could become intolerable and may force people to migrate.

More than 500 million people live in the Middle East and North Africa - a region which is very hot in summer and where climate change is already evident. The number of extremely hot days has doubled since 1970.

"In future, the climate in large parts of the Middle East and North Africa could change in such a manner that the very existence of its inhabitants is in jeopardy," says Jos Lelieveld, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and Professor at the Cyprus Institute.

Lelieveld and his colleagues have investigated how temperatures will develop in the Middle East and North Africa over the course of the 21st century.

The result is deeply alarming: Even if Earth's temperature were to increase on average only by two degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times, the temperature in summer in these regions will increase more than twofold.

By mid-century, during the warmest periods, temperatures will not fall below 30 degrees at night, and during daytime they could rise to 46 degrees Celsius (approximately 114 degrees Fahrenheit).

By the end of the century, midday temperatures on hot days could even climb to 50 degrees Celsius (approximately 122 degrees Fahrenheit). Another finding: Heat waves could occur ten times more often than they do now.

In addition, the duration of heat waves in North Africa and the Middle East will prolong dramatically. Between 1986 and 2005, it was very hot for an average period of about 16 days, by mid-century it will be unusually hot for 80 days per year.

At the end of the century, up to 118 days could be unusually hot, even if greenhouse gas emissions decline again after 2040.

"If mankind continues to release carbon dioxide as it does now, people living in the Middle East and North Africa will have to expect about 200 unusually hot days, according to the model projections," says Panos Hadjinicolaou, Associate Professor at the Cyprus Institute and climate change expert.

Atmospheric researcher Jos Lelieveld is convinced that climate change will have a major impact on the environment and the health of people in these regions. "Climate change will significantly worsen the living conditions in the Middle East and in North Africa.

Prolonged heat waves and desert dust storms can render some regions uninhabitable, which will surely contribute to the pressure to migrate," says Jos Lelieveld.

The research team recently also published findings on the increase of fine particulate air pollution in the Middle East.

It was found that desert dust in the atmosphere over Saudi Arabia, Iraq and in Syria has increased by up to 70 percent since the beginning of this century. This is mainly attributable to an increase of sand storms as a result of prolonged droughts. It is expected that climate change will contribute to further increases, which will worsen environmental conditions in the area.

In the now published study, Lelieveld and his colleagues first compared climate data from 1986 to 2005 with predictions from 26 climate models over the same time period. It was shown that the measurement data and model predictions corresponded extremely well, which is why the scientists used these models to project climate conditions for the period from 2046 to 2065 and the period from 2081 to 2100.

The researchers based their calculations on two future scenarios: The first scenario, called RCP4.5, assumes that the global emissions of greenhouse gases will start decreasing by 2040 and that the Earth will be subjected to warming by 4.5 Watt per square meter by the end of the century.

The RCP4.5 scenario roughly corresponds to the target set at the most recent UN climate summit, which means that global warming should be limited to less than two degrees Celsius.

The second scenario (RCP8.5) is based on the assumption that greenhouse gases will continue to increase without further limitations. It is therefore called the "business-as-usual scenario". According to this scenario, the mean surface temperature of the Earth will increase by more than four degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times.

In both scenarios, the strongest rise in temperature in the Middle East and North Africa is expected during summer, when it is already very hot, and not during winter, which is more common in other parts of the globe. This is primarily attributed to a desert warming amplification in regions such as the Sahara.

Deserts do not buffer heat well, which means that the hot and dry surface cannot cool by the evaporation of ground water. Since the surface energy balance is controlled by heat radiation, the greenhouse effect by gases such as carbon dioxide and water vapor will increase disproportionately.

Regardless of which climate change scenario will become reality: both Lelieveld and Hadjinicolaou agree that climate change can result in a significant deterioration of living conditions for people living in North Africa and the Middle East, and consequently, sooner or later, many people may have to leave the region.


What to read next

Loss of ocean oxygen to be apparent by 2030s
British public grows more concerned about climate change
Flights worldwide face increased risk of severe turbulence due to climate change

Flooding concerns in Puerto Rico; thunderstorms across southeast U.S.

 
The main weather feature and focus for showers and thunderstorms through this weekend will be a cold front progressing across the East and stalling between the Southeast and southern Texas.
 
 

Latest

Concept Medical announces enrollment of first patient in "MAGICAL-ISR" ide study in U.S.
U.S. oil rig count up by 5 to 511
Rhode Island Governor, State Police promote safe travel across Washington Bridge
Governor Abbott met with Samsung executives to discuss billions invested in Texas

NEWS

California: Nearly 500 arrests, 160,000 stolen goods recovered in just 3 months

Romania: EPPO probes public officials in investigation into €160 000 fraud involving employment funds
EPPO: 3 convicted of evading €3.1 million in customs duties on imported e-bikes
Romania: EPPO conducted searches in investigation into €1.7 million fraud involving irrigation systems
U.S.: Pacific storm over west
4.8 magnitude earthquake rattles New Jersey and New York
 

BUSINESS

U.S. drillers cut oil and gas rigs to 620

Australia: East coast gas surplus expected in Q3 2024
Kuwait-Saudi rail link to be ready by 2028, says report
Cambodia approves investment projects worth $2.2 in Q1
Venice to charge day trip tourists 5 euros
Commission opens two in-depth investigations in solar photovoltaic sector
 

Trending Now

Coca-Cola Company to create approximately 250 new jobs in Town of Webster

Governor Abbott met with Samsung executives to discuss billions invested in Texas

Egypt to establish free zone for yachts along Red Sea coast

Concept Medical announces enrollment of first patient in "MAGICAL-ISR" ide study in U.S.


POLITICS

Egypt to establish free zone for yachts along Red Sea coast

UK Exports Minister visits Latin America to boost trade and unlock billions worth of exports
Argentina, Brazil in talks to reverse Bolivian gas pipeline amid shortage
Trudeau offers $6 billion to provinces to build housing
€1 billion Greek State aid measures to support renewable energy generation and storage projects
North Carolina reaches electric vehicle registration goals two years early
 

Today We Recommend

Egypt to establish free zone for yachts along Red Sea coast


Highlights 

Nokia Q1 sales down

UnitedHealth Q1 $99.8 billion

Johnson & Johnson Q1 earnings $5.3bn


COMPANIES

Coca-Cola Company to create approximately 250 new jobs in Town of Webster

99 Cents Only Stores to close all 371 stores
Alaska Airlines says Boeing paid $160 mln for 737 Max 9 grounding
Lindsay announces agreement to acquire minority interest in Pessl Instruments
Saint-Gobain to acquire Bailey for $650 million
Farmers Mutual Hail to acquire Global Ag from AXA XL
 

CAREERS

MainStreaming appoints Tassilo Raesig as COO

BioArctic AB proposes for election board members and chairperson
TerraPay names Marco Boldini as EVP and global head of governmental affairs
Farmers Insurance appoints John Griek as CFO
PA Media Group appoints Emily Shelley as new CEO
BioNTech appoints Annemarie Hanekamp as chief commercial officer
 

ECONOMY

Slovenia's economy expected to grow 0.9 pct in Q1

Italy faces deficit infringement procedure
Real GDP increased in all 50 U.S. states
Inflation continues to decline in Germany
UK house prices log unexpected fall
South Korea's FDI logs double digit growth in Q1
 

EARNINGS

Nokia Q1 sales down

UnitedHealth Q1 $99.8 billion
Johnson & Johnson Q1 earnings $5.3bn
Dollarama Q4 sales increased 11.3%
Conagra Brands Q3 sales decreased 1.7%
Liebherr finished 2023 business year with record revenue of €14,042 million
 

OP-ED

Micromanaging is the worst enemy of efficiency and teamwork

Niger set to monetize massive gas reserves through Saharan natural gas pipeline
Putting the brakes on EV folly that choked the market
Oil discovery in Kavango Basin may mean huge benefits for Namibians
Cape Town and Dubai battle over Africa's energy future
Is America going to lose its superpower status?
 

AGRIFISH

FAO Food Price Index rises in March

Australia grants license for GM bananas amid Fusarium Wilt TR4 concerns
Indian government allows exports of 10,000 tons of onions to UAE
Analytical survey: Sales of agricultural lands in Ukraine up 50% in February
Decline in Norwegian seafood exports in Q1
Tanzania's first fishing harbor to be completed in 2025
 

LEADERSHIP

Study finds workers misjudge wage markets

Some organizations may need to expand their hierarchical structures earlier than others
Study finds there's right way and wrong way to deliver negative feedback in workplace
Allyship is critical and its needs appreciation
Generating 'buzz' about new products can influence their success
Hiring 'problem directors' can knock up to 64% off firm's value
 

CRIME

HSBC pays penalties for alleged breaches of Consumer Data Right rules

Sanofi to settle thousands of Zantac cancer lawsuits
Former asset manager and board member of Geneva private bank referred to Swiss Federal Criminal Court
South Africa: SAP ordered to pay SIU $26m over 'invalid' Eskom contracts
Former Steinhoff director appears in court for $1.1b fraud, racketeering
Genesis agrees to pay $21 million penalty to settle SEC charges
 

Magazine

TRAVEL

Buna channels, an unreal and beautiful part of Bosnia and Herzegovina

JW Marriott unveils Mindful Haven with opening of JW Marriott Hotel Nairobi
Sotheby's Sports Week returns with fantastic artifacts
Red Roof properties open in Michigan
Treyam, your premier lagoon destination in Saudi Arabia
San Francisco: SkyStar wheel on Fisherman’s Wharf to stay for another 18 months
 

SEA, LAND, AIR

2025 Chevrolet Equinox stands apart with fresh looks and capability

Hill Helicopters HX50, luxury in the sky
Opel Movano becomes fully equipped camper van
Porsche Panamera, new hybrid variants
Dodge Charger, 670 horsepower of electric
Pagani Huayra R Evo, 900 hp from 770 Nm
 

DESIGN

Cold night, hot fire pit, cool entertainment

Embellish your home with PVC panels
You'll have to hurry if you want one of 20 new Louis Vuitton watches
Luxury duvet looks good, fells good and keeps you healthy
Vacheron Constantin, watches for life and more
Schüller kitchens, where functionality marries design
 

GADGETS

reMarkable 2, monochrome tablet for your thoughts and your eyes

OnePlus Ace 3V, first with Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 3
ASUS Zenfone 11 Ultra, flagship with a reason
Samsung Galaxy S24 is photography powerhouse
Casette tapes are making a big comeback, and so are portable players
Neumann TLM 103, standard microphone for both voice and music
 

HEALTH

India launches first home-grown gene therapy for cancer

UK scientists win funding for 'cancer detecting' Lollipops
State to cover rare disease treatment costs in Bulgaria
Type 1 diabetes patients in England to receive 'artificial pancreas' as medication
Pilot study shows ketogenic diet improves severe mental illness
Texas reports possibly U.S. first human case of bird flu linked to cattle
 

MEANTIME

Rare species of wild bees discovered in Berlin

SLAC completes construction of largest digital camera ever built for astronomy
Solar eclipse next week in U.S., Mexico and Canada
Gravitational waves may have made human life possible
Astronomers unveil strong magnetic fields spiraling at the edge of Milky Way's central black hole
Scientists on hunt for evidence of quantum gravity's existence at South Pole