Global warming will have potentially devastating impact on Arab countries, the World Bank said in its MENA Development Report “Adaptation to a Changing Climate in the Arab Countries”.
Arab countries are located in a hyper-arid to arid region—less than 0.2 on the Aridity Index (AI)—with pockets of semiarid areas (between 0.2 and 0.5 AI). There are some temperate zones in coastal North Africa, the eastern Mediterranean, and equatorial areas in southern Somalia and the Comoros. There are snow-classified areas in the mountains of Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Morocco. Environmental challenges in the Arab world include water scarcity, with the lowest freshwater resource endowment in the world; very low and variable precipitation; and excessive exposure to extreme events, including drought and desertification. This demanding environment, combined with a high poverty rate, makes the Arab region among the world’s most vulnerable regions to climate change.