Soaring temperatures of 56°C could soon be a common occurrence across the Middle East, say experts, as climate change brings extreme heatwaves to the region.
The warning comes after extreme heat temperatures of almost 50°C were recorded across parts of the Arabian Gulf, including Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE, and Kuwait, in recent weeks. Local health experts say heat-related deaths are becoming common.
A newly-published study indicates that the second half of the century will witness unprecedented super and ultra-extreme heatwave conditions.
“These events involve excessively high temperatures (up to 56 °C and higher) and will be of extended duration (several weeks), being potentially life-threatening for humans,”
It is expected that the vast majority of the exposed population – more than 90 per cent – will live in urban centers and will need to cope with these societally disruptive weather conditions.
At the end of May, several weather stations reported temperatures of up to 49°C across Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Oman, UAE, and Kuwait.
Omar Baddour, who is responsible for the World Meteorological Organization State of the Global Climate reports, said that rising temperatures are attributal to global emissions from human activities.
“There is no doubt that extreme heat in most of the cases has got a climate change signature, whether they happen during the season or at the edge of the season,” he told Al Arabiya English. “The increasing temperature trends and extreme temperatures, during the day and nights, are the features that are found around the world, including the Middle East.”
There is about a 40 percent chance of the annual average global temperature shifting to 1.5°C above the pre-industrial level within the next five years. These odds are increasing with time, according to a recent climate report by the WMO.
There is a 90 percent chance that sometime during the period 2021-2025 the temperature will become the warmest on record.
The Paris Agreement seeks to keep global temperature rise this century below 2°C. National commitments to cut emissions currently fall far short of what is needed to achieve this target.
The year 2021, and the crucial climate change negotiations, COP26, in November, have been widely described as a “make-or-break” chance to prevent climate change spiraling out of control.
based on an article from ALARABIYA
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