A regional summary of various economic, social, and environmental statistics
from the World Resources Institute (WRI, 1994, 1996) is presented in Table
7-1 (see Annex D-5 for country-based data on most
of the variables listed).
|Table 7-1: Summary of socioeconomic, land, and biological data for the Middle East and Arid Asia region.|
Middle East and Arid Asia Region
as % of the World
Number of Countries Included
|GNP total million US$||48,940||8,584||57,767||16|
|GDP PPP % growth 1983-93||3.1||1.5||4.4||12|
|GDP per capita PPP 1992 INT$||5,729||3,347||8,561||17|
|Distribution of GDP 1993, industry (%)||37||28||46||15|
|Distribution of GDP 1993, services (%)||45||41||53||15|
|Distribution of GDP 1993, agriculture (%)||18||5||28||15|
|Population 1995 (thousands)||5,716,426||7.6||20,622||3,009||20,141||21|
|Annual average population change 1990-95 (%)||1.6||2.7||2.3||3.7||18|
|Population density (#/km2) (mean-weighted)||44||38||24||79||21|
|Life expectancy 1990-95||64.7||66.4||66.8||69.9||20|
|Infant mortality (per 1,000 live births 1990-95)||64.0||49.4||30.0||52.5||20|
|% urban population||45||50||39||85||21|
|% in absolute poverty in rural areas||28||15||30||9|
|% urban population with access to safe water||91||92||100||18|
|% rural population with access to safe water||77||70||100||17|
|Total land area (Mha)||13,098,404||8.8||54,704||8,360||65,209||20|
|% arid land (mean-weighted)||50||77||59||95||15|
|% arid land with soil constraints (mean-weighted)||90||13|
|% semi-arid land (mean-weighted)||9||15|
|% semi-arid with soil constraints (mean-weighted)||99.8||12|
|% pastureland 1991-93 (mean-weighted)||25.7||42.8||6.8||44.7||20|
|% cropland (mean-weighted)||11.1||11.8||2.3||17.1||20|
|% domesticated land (% of land area)||38.0||40.3||23.5||57.0||19|
|% irrigated land (% of cropland)||17.0||41.1||15.0||60.0||18|
|% grain-fed livestock||36.1||24.5||46.0||16|
|Annual average livestock numbers (000)||3,268,787||407,450||20,369||1,334||16,330||20|
|% of land area conserved under IUCN category I-V||7.1||2.5||0.3||3.8||19|
|Total # of known species of vertebrates and higher plants||295,299||10.3||1,697||157||2,126||18|
|% of these species classed as threatened||10.8||1.0||17.8||18|
|% of these species classed as endemic||5.3||0.0||5.0||18|
|% water use for agriculture (1987)||69.0||78.7||79.0||91.5||19|
|% water use by industry (1987)||23.0||8.6||4.5||9.5||19|
|% domestic water use (1987)||8.0||1,271||3.3||13.5||19|
|% annual withdrawal of water (1975-89)||8.0||63.0||24.0||70.0||18|
|Annual renewable water resource per capita 1995 (m3)||7,176||4,613||637||5,507||19|
|Total internal renewable water resource 1995 (km3)||41,022||3.5||76.3||3.4||1,05.3||19|
|Annual water withdrawal per capita (m3)||645||1,710||466||2,374||19|
|Total energy production 1993 (PJ)||337,518||13.6||2,859||68||2,904||16|
|Traditional fuel consumption as % of total energy consumption||6||5.9||0.0||1.0||17|
|1) Data from World Resources 1996-97 (WRI, 1996).
2) Data for the following countries (maximum 21), when available, were included in the above table: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyz Republic, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, and Yemen.
3) Country-by-country data are presented in Annex D.
Annual water consumption in the region is 1,710 m3 per capita, compared with the world average of 645 m3 per capita. In many countries, the dominant water use is for irrigation to support small-but economically important-permanent pasturelands and croplands. The fraction of available water that is withdrawn annually for consumption varies from as little as 10% in Syria to, effectively, more than 100% in countries heavily reliant on desalinization.
The region is heterogeneous in terms of the countries' economies. Because it includes some of the richest and some of the poorest countries in the world, regional average economic performance statistics are misleading (IPCC 1996, WG II, Section 13.7). Industry and services contribute 82% of the gross domestic product (GDP), and agriculture accounts for the remainder. Per capita GNP has fallen substantially over the past decade, in part as a result of declining oil prices and political disruptions (IPCC 1996, WG II, Section 13.7).
Two-thirds of the region can be classified as hot or cold desert. In the northern part of the region, a steppe climate prevails, with cold winters and hot summers. A narrow zone contiguous to the Mediterranean Sea is classified as a Mediterranean zone, with wet and moderately warm winters and dry summers. Permafrost zones exist in high mountain areas in the southeast part of the region.
Temperatures in the region range from -10°C to 25°C (January) to 20°C to >35°C (July) (Oxford World Atlas, 1994). The observed change in annual temperature in the region from 1955-74 to 1975-94 was 0.5°C (IPCC 1996, WG I, Figure 3.4). Temperature changes were smallest in December-February (0 to -0.25°C) and largest in September-November (~1°C). Annual temperatures in most of the Middle East region showed almost no change during the period 1901-96, but a 1-2°C/century increase was discernible in central Asia (based on the 5°x5° grid; see Annex A, Figure A-2). There was a 0.7°C increase during 1901-96 in the region as a whole (see Annex A, Figure A-9).
Climate models that include the effects of sulfate aerosols (GFDL and CCC) (IPCC 1996, WG I, Figure 6.7) project that the temperature in the region will increase 1-2°C by 2030-2050. The greatest increases are projected for winter in the northeast and for summer in part of the region's southWest (IPCC 1996, WG I, Figure 6.10).
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