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Climate Change in the Middle East: Complex Causes and Effects. Climate Change Predictions for MENA. Higher temperatures (1-2 degree rise by 2050) Reduced or steady (low) precipitation Increased incidence of drought, heat waves

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Climate Change in the Middle East: Complex Causes and Effects


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Climate Change Predictions for MENA

  • Higher temperatures (1-2 degree rise by 2050)

  • Reduced or steady (low) precipitation

  • Increased incidence of drought, heat waves

  • Reduced surface water; increased stress on already depleted groundwater reserves

  • Sea level rise of .5 meter by 2100

  • Reduction in agricultural output

  • Relatively low carbon emissions--focus on adaptation

  • Challenge for hydroelectric generation and irrigation


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In an already arid region, climate change will

  • reduce agricultural productivity through desertification and drought, increased soil salinity, inability to irrigate

  • increase stress on urban populations and their access to safe water,

  • inundate many coastal areas, forcing population relocation and further reducing agricultural output


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Water is:

  • Geography:

    • climate change

    • Middle Eastern aridity

    • localized adaptation


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Water is:

  • Science:

    • new desalinization techniques

    • Adaptation of new plants tolerant of higher salinity

    • traditional water gathering/storing/transporting

    • Newly discovered aquifers in the desert, etc.

    • New health challenges and disease vectors


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Water is:

  • Economics:

    • Agriculture

    • Hydroelectric projects

    • Fisheries

    • Transportation

    • Urbanization

    • Tourism

    • Restrictions on development


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Water is:

  • Politics

    • legitimacy for govts (GAP, Libya pipeline, agriculture

      in Israel, Jordan river/Golan)

    • Food shortages/riots

    • Inequities in water use/access

    • disputes over river flows and water sovereignty

      (Tigris/Euphrates, bargaining chip in other issues)

    • Exacerbation of conflict between neighbors (Israel/Palestine, Israel/Jordan, Turkey/Iraq)

    • international challenge:

      how do we solve regional issues with global implications?


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Water is:

  • Society:

    • food riots in Egypt,

    • urban centers with too little water,

    • health problems from contaminated water

      due to reduced river flows,

    • new environmentalist civil society vs. new aspirations


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Water is:

  • Culture:

    • marsh Arabs,

    • Bedouin,

    • urbanization,

    • changing sustenance farming and fishing villages

    • disruption of traditional water-sharing mechanisms


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Four case studies:EgyptTurkeyIraqIsrael-Palestine













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Unequal water access


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