Climate change will exacerbate woes in the region, experts warn

Climate change
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AMMAN — The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its sixth assessment report on the physical science basis of climate Change in August this year, describing the anthropogenic influence on the current state of climate and how future climate can affect different regions across the world. اضافة اعلان

Regarding the Middle East region, the report shows that climate change will impact temperature and precipitation, bringing with it environmental and economic risks.

Environmental experts interviewed by Jordan News agreed with the report, stressing that multiple risks are associated with climate change, the effects of which, they say, begin to manifest with rising temperatures or weather fluctuations, which lead to drought, fires, and low food production.

Chairman of Jordanian Environmental Union Omar Shoshan told Jordan News that “climate change is one of the most important issues since it poses an existential threat at both human, and nature levels”.

“Climate change strikes all over the world, not just the Middle East, and all organisms are exposed to the impact of this change. However, we in the Mediterranean region, specifically the Middle East, have experienced high temperatures and unprecedented droughts,” he said.

He added that the “extreme weather conditions in the region, such as the recent heat wave, might be even more severe and longer in the future”.

“The world will face natural, humanitarian, and economic disasters if this environmental problem is not dealt with effectively,” he warned.

Hala Murad, a human rights expert and head of Dibeen for Environmental Development, said that “what was stated in the report was not shocking”, since the “Paris Agreement indicated, more than seven years ago, that we should seek not to reach an increase of 1.5° Celsius”, a goal that so far has not been reached.

Moreover, “the Middle East has historically been hit by large droughts”, she said, stressing that “this change adversely affects human life, behavior, and livelihood, and has an impact on the economy and environment”, effects that are bound to be “deeper and more harmful”.

Hussein Al-Kaswani, regional director of a climate change project part of UN Habitat, said that the UN study is conducted across an entire region using the same parameters, which may not accurately reflect the situation by country, Jordan included.

Osama Abu Saleek, an environmental researcher, warned that “if precautionary measures aimed at mitigating (greenhouse gas) emissions are not taken, the temperature will increase more and this poses a risk to the future generations and the region”.

“The risk lies in the severity of climate change; very high temperatures lead to drought, fires, and a lack of food production,” he pointed out.

Abu Saleek said that the warming of the Earth’s atmosphere is melting parts of the Arctic and Antarctic ice, “causing floods in some cities”.

As far as the Middle East is concerned, he said, “it is one of the world’s most sunbathed regions annually; it is considered one of the most exposed solar belt areas, which means higher temperatures, and, as a result, more climatic problems”.

International interest in reducing the impact of climate change started in the 1970s, he said, rekindled repeatedly at conferences. 

“Serious attempts are being made to change legislation and enact global laws that reduce climate change,” he said.

Reports, however, seem to show that the efforts are less effective than desired.

By way of solution, Abu Saleek suggests increasing the forest and vegetation areas, which “is a real solution to the problem”, one that, he believes, “needs global efforts, because the problem is global”.

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