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21st century climate change in the Middle East

Abstract

This study examined the performance and future predictions for the Middle East produced by 18 global climate models participating in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report. Under the Special Report on Emission Scenarios A2 emissions scenario the models predict an overall temperature increase of ~1.4 K by mid-century, increasing to almost 4 K by late-century for the Middle East. In terms of precipitation the southernmost portion of the domain experiences a small increase in precipitation due to the Northward movement of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone. The largest change however is a decrease in precipitation that occurs in an area covering the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey, Syria, Northern Iraq, Northeastern Iran and the Caucasus caused by a decrease in storm track activity over the Eastern Mediterranean. Other changes likely to impact the region include a decrease of over 170,000 km2 in viable rainfed agriculture land by late-century, increases in the length of the dry season that reduces the length of time that the rangelands can be grazed, and changes in the timing of the maximum precipitation in Northern Iran that will impact the growing season, forcing changes in cropping strategy or even crop types.

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Correspondence to Jason P. Evans.

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Evans, J.P. 21st century climate change in the Middle East. Climatic Change 92, 417–432 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-008-9438-5

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Keywords

  • Root Mean Square Error
  • Middle East
  • Global Precipitation Climatology Project
  • Observational Dataset
  • Rainfed Agriculture