Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and the Cyprus Institute say “very hot” days in the region have “doubled” since 1970.
"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," says Jos Lelieveld, Director at the Max Planck Institute and Professor at the Cyprus Institute.Keep in mind that the Max Planck Institutes house some of the very best German researchers, so we need to take this seriously.
The study also looked at the amount of “fine particulate air pollution” in the region and found that dust in the atmosphere over Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Syria jumped 70 percent since the start of the century. This, they say, could be due to an increase in the number of sand storms caused by climate change.
The researchers created two models -- one in which global temperatures are capped by reductions in greenhouse gases, and another, a “business as usual” model where nothing is done to stem climate change.
Under both scenarios, the future of the region is not good, they say, adding that “climate change can result in a significant deterioration of living conditions for people living in North Africa and the Middle East, and consequently, sooner or later, many people may have to leave the region.”So, we have a situation where drought leads people to fight over one type of scarce resource--water--while the other scarce resource in the region--habitable land--is also being undermined. These developments will severely test the world's ability to put the region back together if and when the violence ends.