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Eastern Mediterranean, Middle East especially at risk as world heats up — study

Fishermen navigate on the Shatt al-Arab waterway during a sandstorm in Basra, Iraq, May 23, 2022. The eastern Mediterranean and Middle East are warming almost twice as fast as the global average, with temperatures projected to rise up to 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century if no action is taken to reverse the trend, a new report says. (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani, File)
Fishermen navigate on the Shatt al-Arab waterway during a sandstorm in Basra, Iraq, May 23, 2022. The eastern Mediterranean and Middle East are warming almost twice as fast as the global average, with temperatures projected to rise up to 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century if no action is taken to reverse the trend, a new report says. (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani, File)

The eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East are warming almost twice as fast as the global average, with temperatures projected to rise up to 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century if no action is taken to reverse the trend, a new report says.

The region will experience “unprecedented” heat waves, more severe and longer-lasting droughts, and dust storms and rainfall shortages that will “compromise water and food security” for the region’s 400 million people, according to a summary of the report released today.

The eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East are more susceptible to warming trends because of their unique natural characteristics, like large desert expanses and lower water levels, the study says.

The report was prepared by an international group of scientists overseen by The Cyprus Institute’s Climate and Atmosphere Research Center and the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry.

Originally published in June in the journal Reviews of Geophysics, it aims to underscore the impact of climate change in the region ahead of the United Nations climate summit in Egypt this November.

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