Did you know that our region is especially vulnerable to climate change? The Middle East is already one of the hottest, most arid parts of the world. In the past, we have managed to successfully deal with water shortages and extreme heat. However, the predicted impacts of climate change in the coming years are expected go beyond what regional economies and habitats can cope with. Recent science says they may even make parts of the Middle East unfit for humans to live in.
This is why, right now, every day counts. Together, we can make a difference: start by taking climate action this Earth Hour - then go beyond the hour by pledging to green your routine.
Why is climate change problematic?
Climate change and the rising of global temperatures affects us all – humans, species and plants. Even a slight change in temperature can throw off our delicately balanced ecosystems, which may cause many unfavorable outcomes.
What could be affected in the UAE as result of climate change?
- More extreme weather: In the UAE, we have already started experiencing more frequent storms, draughts, floods and fog, spelling serious issues for public health and safety, and the economy. One recent local study found that temperatures could increase between 2 ͦC and 3 ͦC during the summer months, while humidity could rise by as much as 10 percent over the entire Arabian Gulf by 2060-2079.
- Rising sealevels: Most of us live near the coast, which is also where most of the UAE’s key national infrastructure, such as power and desalination plants, is located. Studies have found that sea levels in the Arabian Gulf are already rising, which leads to increased coastal erosion and could impact businesses and homes in all seven emirates.
- Limited food choices: Climate change could disrupt our supply of water and energy, and drive up food prices. Since we rely on imports for most of our food, we are extremely vulnerable to changes in international production and pricing – both of which can be driven by global climate change.
- Damaged habitats and loss of species: The UAE is not only home to unique and endangered animals such as turtles, dolphins, whales and dugongs, the habitats and ecosystems of these animals also provide us with many of the goods and services that sustain our economic and social well-being. Their continued existence also improves the UAE’s ability to adapt and be resilient to climate change.
- Health: Higher temperatures, extreme weather and air pollution can have severe effects on our health. Hotter, more humid conditions are also linked to more infectious diseases, bacteria and parasites.
What can I do?
Save water by changing your lifestyle habits. Simple changes like taking shorter showers, washing your car with a bucket instead of a hose, or installing a dual-flush system on your toilet can empower you with the chance to reduce your water footprint, saving carbon emissions. More ideas here…
If you are an organisation, consider supporting EWS-WWF's Climate Change & Energy Programme. Climate change is not something we can ignore any longer, and will very soon start affecting our everyday lives. By donating to EWS-WWF, your organisation will be supporting our Climate Change & Energy Programme which aims to reduce carbon emissions in the UAE and promote renewable energy to tackle climate change.