Independent] Record-shattering temperatures this summer havescorched countries from Morocco to Saudi Arabia and beyond, as climate experts warn that the severe could be a harbinger of worse to come.
In coming decades, U.N. officials and climate scientists predict that
the region’s mushrooming populations will face extreme water scarcity,
temperatures almost too for human survival and other consequences of global warming.
If that happens, conflicts and refugee crises far greater than those
now underway are probable, said Adel Abdellatif, a senior adviser at the
U.N. Development Program’s Regional Bureau for Arab States who has
worked on studies about the effect of climate change on the region.
These have grappled with remarkably warm summers in recent years, but this year has been particularly brutal.
Parts of the United Arab Emirates and Iran experienced a heat index —
a measurement that factors in humidity as well as temperature — that
soared to 140 degrees in July, and Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, recorded an
all-time high temperature of nearly 126 degrees. Southern Morocco’s
relatively cooler climate suddenly sizzled last month, with temperatures
surging to highs between 109 and 116 degrees. In May, record-breaking
temperatures in Israel led to a surge in heat-related illnesses.
Temperatures in Kuwait and Iraq startled observers. On July 22, the
mercury climbed to 129 degrees in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. A
day earlier, it reached 129.2 in Mitribah, Kuwait. If confirmed by the
World Meteorological , the two temperatures would be the hottest ever recorded in the Eastern Hemisphere.
The bad isn’t over, either. Iraq’s heat wave is expected to continue this week. Read More