When Did Your Country Start Getting Warmer?

Karim Elgendy

Since the start of the industrial age at the end of the 19th century, global surface temperatures have been on the rise due to increased carbon emissions. It is estimated that the earth’s surface temperature has already increased by an average of 0.9° C since then with obvious impacts on the global climate patterns.

The pattern of such warming has varied between different regions. Even within certain regions, sub-regional variations can be detected. In the Middle East and North Africa region, for example, there are sub-regional variations in how countries have warmed between 1880 and 2019, which correlate with their proximity to the Mediterranean Sea or the Persian/Arabian Gulf.

Eastern Mediterranean countries (Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel/Palestine) gradually started getting warmer than their 20th century average in the late 1980s, while countries along the Mediterranean’s southern coast (Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco) all appear to have began warming up a few years before during the early 1980s.

In contrast, countries around the Persian Gulf have warmed in a different way. While they appear to have held out until the mid 1990s, since then, they experienced relatively faster rates of warming. With surface temperature increases consistently reaching 1.4-1.6 ° C in countries around the Gulf compared to their 20th century average, the warming experienced there much exceeds the global surface temperature increases since 1880.

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