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.
“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,” said one of the researchers Jos Lelieveld, director at Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany.
The researchers investigated how temperatures would develop in the Middle East and North Africa over the course of the 21st century.
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 would increase more than twofold, the results showed.
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 .
And heat waves could occur ten times more often than they do now, the findings showed.
In addition, the duration of heat waves in North Africa and the Middle East would prolong dramatically.
Between 1986 and 2005, it was very hot for an average period of about 16 days, but by mid-century it would be unusually hot for 80 days per year.
“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,” Dr Lelieveld said.
“Climate change will significantly worsen the living conditions in the [region]. Prolonged heat waves and desert dust storms can render some regions uninhabitable, which will surely contribute to the pressure to migrate.”
source: My Informs.com