The summer of 2017 seems to have brought unprecedented high temperatures in the Middle East and North Africa generally and that these according to the various weather forecast organisations throughout these countries are expected to gradually drop only by late September.
Meanwhile, maximum temperatures with highs reaching more often than not the 50 degrees Celsius have been felt in almost all of the MENA region and Europe.
In view of these exceptionally high temperatures, the Iraqi Prime Minister granted all government staff Thursday off work. Air temperatures in Baghdad, Basra and Mosul were expected to reach 50°C that Thursday afternoon.
This extreme heat can cause power shortages thus depriving homes and businesses form air conditioning. Weather experts warn that extreme weather could lead to the deaths of thousands of people by 2100 if nothing is done to halt the effects of climate change.
Forest fires to an unprecedented scale presumably helped by this heatwave have occurred in all countries of North Africa where it was reported that hundred of thousands hectares went up in smoke.
Last June Al Jazeera in a report titled “Hotter and drier again in the Middle East and US desert”, it informed that halfway through the year, we have already set new heat records and that at current rate of progress, 2017 will turn out to be the second hottest year since 1880, when the recording of global temperatures started.
Gulf News reported this morning Bahrain recorded hottest July in 115 years and that the scorching heat prompted a Saudi engineer to invent an air-conditioned umbrella.
The Washington Post in an article by Hugh Naylor published on August 10, 2016.
BAGHDAD — Record-shattering temperatures this summer have scorched countries from Morocco to Saudi Arabia and beyond, as climate experts warn that the severe weather could be a harbinger of worse to come.
In coming decades, U.N. officials and climate scientists predict that the mushrooming populations of the Middle East and North Africa will face extreme water scarcity, temperatures almost too hot 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.
“This incredible weather shows that climate change is already taking a toll now and that it is — by far — one of the biggest challenges ever faced by this region,” he said.
These countries 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 60°C degrees in July, and Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, recorded an all-time high temperature of nearly 52 degrees. Southern Morocco’s relatively cooler climate suddenly sizzled last month, with temperatures surging to highs between 42 and 46 degrees. In May, record-breaking temperatures in Israel led to a surge in heat-related illnesses.
Read more on the original paper.