The Regional Impacts of Climate Change

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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
Variable
World
as % of the World
Average
25th Percentile
75th Percentile
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
% forest/woodland 31.8 1.4 4.7 0.8 4.9 16
% 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
Coastline (km)       6.5 1677 19
% 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

Notes:
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).

7.2. Regional Climate

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.

7.2.1. Observed Temperature and Future Projections

Temperatures in the region range from -10C to 25C (January) to 20C to >35C (July) (Oxford World Atlas, 1994). The observed change in annual temperature in the region from 1955-74 to 1975-94 was 0.5C (IPCC 1996, WG I, Figure 3.4). Temperature changes were smallest in December-February (0 to -0.25C) and largest in September-November (~1C). Annual temperatures in most of the Middle East region showed almost no change during the period 1901-96, but a 1-2C/century increase was discernible in central Asia (based on the 5x5 grid; see Annex A, Figure A-2). There was a 0.7C 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 1-2C 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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