More prolonged droughts by the end of the century in the Middle East
Journal Contribution - Journal Article
Climate change can put an intense pressure on already scarce water resources in the Middle East, potentially catalyzing the risk of serious water conflicts. Albeit most efforts to quantify the potential impact of climate change in the Middle East use global climate model outputs, here we employ two regional climate model outputs which are expected to provide more trustworthy projections for the region with a complex terrain and variable land surfaces. We find that not ubiquitous does future climate change lead to a decline in annual precipitation total in the region; nevertheless, the projected decline stems from an increase in number of dry days (NDD) rather than a decrease in precipitation intensity on rainy days. The increase in annual precipitation total in the southern part is driven by changes in both NDD and precipitation intensity. The drought periods will be longer (up to 90%) in about 80% of the Middle East area. The prolonged droughts in the future will increase the already high level of water stress in the region and force people to migrate or live in dreadful conditions of water poverty.