Navigation Links
Climate change may boost Middle East rainfall
Date:8/13/2008

The prospect of climate change sparking food and water shortages in the Middle East is less likely than previously thought, with new research by an Australian climate scientist suggesting that rainfall will be significantly higher in key parts of the region.

Recent projections from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) raised fears that storm activity in the eastern Mediterranean would decline this century if global warming continues on present trends. In turn, that would have reduced rainfall by between 15 and 25 per cent over a large part of the so-called Fertile Crescent.

This is land encompassing parts of Turkey, Syria, northern Iraq, and north-eastern Iran and the strategically important headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

When University of New South Wales Climate Change Research Centre researcher Dr Jason Evans analysed the IPPC projections, he found that the region's agricultural base faced significant challenges as a result. About 170,000 square kilometres of viable rain-fed agricultural land would be lost; a longer dry season would limit grazing on rangelands; and changes in the timing of maximum rainfall would force farmers in northern Iran to change cropping strategies and even crop types. The results are to be published in the journal Climatic Change.

But the IPCC projections were based on the results of global modelling of climate change, which tends to obscure smaller-scale regional effects.

"The global models are good for investigating what's likely to happen on a planetary scale but the resolution is quite coarse when looking at a more localised regional scale," says Dr Evans. "It's a bit like enlarging a digital photograph until it becomes pixellated and all sorts of detail is blurred out."

"Simulating the climate of the region is a challenge for climate models, due in part to the high natural inter-annual variability, the topography of the region - which includes multiple mountain ranges and inland seas - and the presence of a slight cooling trend in recent decades despite the global trend being a warming."

So in a second far more detailed study, to be published in the Journal of Hydrometeorology, Evans used regional climate modelling specific to the Middle East, and the result was very different.

It emerged that while storm activity over the eastern Mediterranean would indeed decline, moisture-bearing winds would be channelled inland more often and diverted by the Zagros Mountains, bringing an increase of over 50% in annual rainfall to the Euphrates-Tigris watershed.

"We need to confirm this result with other models, but a 50 per cent increase in rainfall in such an important agricultural area is a much more hopeful scenario than a 15 per cent decline," says Evans.


'/>"/>

Contact: Bob Beale
bbeale@unsw.edu.au
61-249-303-440
University of New South Wales
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Southern Ocean seals dive deep for climate data
2. Carbon Disclosure Project, ICLEI partner to help US cities report local climate actions, emissions
3. Aphids are sentinels of climate change
4. Rare Antarctic fossils reveal extinction of tundra before full polar climate arrived
5. Climate change and species distributions
6. Carnegie Mellon Researcher says Chinas export trade impacts climate
7. Costs of climate change, state-by-state: Billions, says UMD
8. Study suggests past climate changes may have promoted the formation of new species in the Amazon
9. EPA releases report on climate change and health
10. Scattered nature of Wisconsins woodlands could complicate forests response to climate change
11. New study finds that some plants can adapt to widespread climate change
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/29/2017)... -- higi, the health IT company that operates the largest ... , today announced a Series B investment from BlueCross ... new investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s strategy to create ... health activities through the collection and workflow integration of ... and secures data today on behalf of over 36 ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... MILAN , March 24, 2017 The Controller ... Deputy Controller Mr. Abdulla Algeen have received the prestigious international ... Continue Reading ... ... small picture) and Deputy Controller Abdulla Algeen (small picture on the right) ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Vehicle Anti-Theft ... 8.8% over the next decade to reach approximately $14.21 billion by ... and forecasts for all the given segments on global as well ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... of a complex biological network, a depiction of a system of linkages and ... Dmitry Korkin, PhD, associate professor of computer science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to improve patient outcomes and quality of life, will ... analytical testing are being attributed to new regulatory requirements for all new drug ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ComplianceOnline’s Medical Device Summit ... 7th and 8th June 2018 in San Francisco, CA. The Summit brings together current ... several distinguished CEOs, board directors and government officials from around the world to address ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... A new study published in ... and fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) transfer cycles. The multi-center matched ... , After comparing the results from the fresh and frozen transfer cohorts, the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: