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Climate change in the Arab world: risks and practical solutions

Drought is one of the most serious consequences of climate change: an archive

Drought is one of the most serious consequences of climate change: an archive

Experts describe climate change as an imbalance in typical climate conditions such as heat, winds and precipitation, which characterize each region on Earth, which can have dramatic effects on long-term natural ecosystems.

These changes are classified according to environmental experts in two types, one of which is the source of nature itself, which represents the lowest percentage of 13%, while man has the greatest responsibility for these changes in the environment. %.

According to a recent study conducted by a team of international researchers at the universities of Exeter, Great Britain, Vageningen, the Netherlands and Montpellier, the tropical countries of the Arab region tend to be the least greenhouse gases, the most terrestrial land north , however, will suffer more from climate variability, which will increase the inequality linked to the climate.

"Temperature fluctuations in the tropics will affect biological systems, threaten food security, threaten agriculture, human beings and the economy, threaten the animal and plant species and lead to the drying of tropical soils ", according to a study published in Science Advances in July. Due to evaporation increased with high temperatures. "

Drought-resistant crops

The environmental expert Dr. Magdy Allam is looking at these and other studies, because they are alert to a problem that many people have never seriously talked about in the past.

"Despite what the Arab region has seen in recent decades of very high temperatures, which predicts more drought and desertification, we have not noticed a serious sense of the problem, which is starting to change as the problem gets worse," he says. the dott. Allam.

Last summer, the Iraqi city of Amarah and a region of Kuwait recorded the highest temperature in the world, with temperatures reaching 51 degrees Celsius.

The World Bank warned in a report released last year that temperatures in the Middle East and North Africa would increase by 6 degrees Celsius by 2050, which means they could reach 55 or 56 degrees Celsius.

Temperatures have increased dramatically in the Arab world

The Bank has warned of the terrible consequences of these climate changes that cause drought on the food security of the Arab population, which imposes urgent solutions initiated by the Arab countries.

"The positive thing is that some countries are looking for solutions to tackle the problem, because it is a danger that is coming," says Dr. Allam.

One of the solutions launched by the Arab countries is the trend towards heat-resistant plants: research centers are also working to introduce the genes responsible for transporting heat into plants to other food plants, said Dr. Allam.

Egypt, for example, announced in October last year the trend towards water saving crops, reducing the cultivated areas of plants that consume water such as rice and sugar cane and introducing in this context the "stevia" as an alternative to sugar cane.

This plant is grown in high temperature areas, the high heat helps to increase vegetative growth, this plant requires only one fifth of the soil required for the production of reeds, it needs 90% less water, so it is ideal for countries suffering from water scarcity. The production of one hectare of this plant corresponds to the cultivation of 80 acres of sugar beet.

In this context, research efforts have been made to produce drought-resistant rice varieties: a researcher from the Zagazig University's agricultural faculty managed to produce a drought-resistant class called "Orabi" and cultivated it in 200,000 feddans in governorates and has achieved great success.

Istvia plant

Salt breeding

Efforts in this regard also include the trend of some countries, including the UAE, to salt-based salt crops in an attempt to overcome water shortages caused by climate change.

The experiments conducted by the International Center for Saline Cultivation in Dubai, in collaboration with the United Arab Emirates Government, have demonstrated the success of the cultivation of Salicornia using sea water.

Salicornia is a salt-loving plant used as food and feed, as well as in the production of biofuels, it is a forked floral plant that is multiplied with seeds, the fruit of which contains a seed, which grows at the beginning of spring and it grows naturally on the shores of the sea. Salinity, and can grow far from water in areas with rainfall of over 1000 millimeters.

Salicornia plant

According to a press release published by the Center on its website, the United Arab Emirates have recently managed to record abundant crops of plants, reaching 3 tons of seeds per hectare, using sea water that passes through the aquaculture system.

Another effort is to produce salt-resistant Chinese rice in the Dubai desert.

"The Center for the research and development of cultivable rice in salt and alkaline earth," he said, confirmed the success of agriculture in the desert of Dubai.

Tests have shown that the highest yield for this hybrid, saline and alkaline hybrid rice exceeded 7.8 tonnes per hectare.

Rice tolerant to Chinese salinity can be a solution for many Arab countries

Coastal management

The high temperatures are associated with the melting of the ice in the Arctic, which in turn will lead to rising sea levels, threatening to flood some Arab cities.

An international report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published at the end of 2017 indicates that the city of Alexandria in Egypt is among the cities threatened, according to the report that the beaches of Alexandria will be flooded even if sea level will rise 0.5 meters, while 8 million will be displaced by flooding in Alexandria and the Nile Delta if preventive measures are not taken.

The cities of Aden and Hodeidah in Yemen are threatened by the flood of the Indian Ocean due to the increase in water levels, which also requires the need for preventive measures.

The countries of Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Mauritania initiated joint cooperation at the end of October, financed by the African Union and the European Union, with a view to joint control of the coasts of these countries. countries and prepare to face the problem.

Omar Badawi, regional director of the Sidari Land Resources Program, one of Al Ain's project co-sponsors, said that participating country experts analyzed their data, through field visits and satellite data, on changes in 39, water, tidal currents, characteristics of water such as temperature, salinity, pH, dissolved oxygen concentration, concentrations of components and compounds such as copper, nickel, nitrates and ammonia.

He added that this data will be provided through the application on the phone and a website to help government agencies manage the coast and prepare for any risk.

Satellites provide important data for coastal management

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