If carbon dioxide emission is not controlled, people in North Africa and the Middle East rely will have 200 days of unusually hot days.
Within a few decades it could be so hot in North Africa and the Middle East that it becomes uninhabitable there. The result will be mass emigration, according to researchers from the Max-Planck-Institute in Mainz, which is behind a new research along with Cypriot counterparts from Cyprus Institute in Nicosia.
In the future, climate in much of the Middle East and North Africa will change in such a way that the residents’ existence is in danger, said lead researcher Jos Lelieveld, who holds positions at both institutes.
Heat waves and sand storms
Lelieveld describes how the warmer climate will affect the environment and people’s health.
Prolonged heat waves and dust storms can make some regions uninhabitable. It will certainly contribute to the pressure to emigrate, says the professor.
Over 500 million people live in the affected area, which already has very hot summers. The climate change is already seen in that region; number of extremely hot days has doubled since 1970.
UN aims to ensure that global temperatures should not exceed 2 degrees above normal in pre-industrial times (defined as 1850). Research report shows that if this limit is exceeded, summer temperatures in North Africa and the Middle East will rise by two-fold.
50 degrees Celsius during the day
By 2050, no night temperature drops below 30 degrees, and the day may rise to 46 degrees. Towards the end of the century can be up to 50 degrees at noon, and heat waves can occur ten times more frequently than today.
As if that were not enough, the heat waves will also last longer. In the period 1986-2005 lasted the average for 16 days – but in 2050 they can last for up to 80 days and up to 2100 they can last for 118 days, and that even if greenhouse gas emissions were to cease after 2040.
If humankind continues to emit carbon dioxide as we do now, people in North Africa and the Middle East will have 200 days of unusually hot days, according to their models, says researcher Panos Hadjinicolaou of the Cyprus Institute.
Two-degree target was broken already earlier this year. Albeit for a short while, but research stand is nevertheless concerned.
The research team has previously found that particulate pollution in the Middle East has increased drastically since the early 2000s. This is mainly due to an increase in the number of sandstorms, which in turn caused more drying time.
Scientists have worked out two possible scenarios. The first assumes a reduction from 2040 in line with the Paris convention goal not to exceed 2 degrees global warming, and preferably not more than 1.5. The second assumes that emissions continue as today – called business-as-usual scenario.
The latter events will result in global warming of 4 degrees. For North Africa and Middle East section, the greatest increase in temperature occur in the summer – which is already very hot – and not in the winter, as usual elsewhere in the world.
This is due to the desert areas of the region helps to reinforce warming; While Earth’s surface elsewhere cooled by evaporating groundwater, this is missing in the hot desert, and the greenhouse effect becomes stronger.
The grim conclusion is that both scenarios will lead to worse living conditions for people in North Africa and the Middle East, and that many will have to emigrate from the region.