Kuwait Sees Temperature Rise of One to Two Degrees

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Unexpected rainfall upsets life in some areas

KUWAIT CITY, Aug 20: Youssef Al-Ajiri, the Director General of the Al-Ajiri Scientific Center, revealed that numerous regions across the globe, including Kuwait, have recently experienced unprecedented high temperatures and severe heatwaves during the ongoing summer season, reports Al-Rai daily. Temperature spikes have escalated by approximately one to two degrees Celsius. Collaborating with the Swiss meteoblue network, which focuses on weather and atmospheric sciences, the center has accumulated data illustrating a gradual increase in average temperatures over the past years compared to the preceding two decades.

Youssef Al-Ajiri

The rise has amounted to a 1 to 2 degrees Celsius elevation beyond anticipated levels. Al-Ajiri pointed out that the surge in temperatures this current summer, along with recent years, coincides with diminished levels of precipitation. This shift is contextualized within an era marked by industrialization and oil dependency, coupled with amplified emissions from varied fuel combustion processes within the country. Based on the data, Al-Ajiri attributes the climate shift of recent years to the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas for electricity generation, transportation, and industrial procedures. He underscores the significant role of human activities both within Kuwait and globally, in addition to natural phenomena, in driving noticeable temperature escalation.

The data accentuates that human-induced negative activities remain the principal catalyst of climate alterations, discharging greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide that contribute to vegetation degradation, desertification, and heightened global atmospheric warming. Expanding on this, Al-Ajiri explains that the decrease in green spaces coupled with urban expansion and infrastructure development further amplify summer temperatures. Concrete and asphalt structures notably absorb and radiate heat, in addition to the cooling systems employed to moderate interior temperatures. Al-Ajiri emphasizes that the United Nations, through its Secretary-General, has issued a stark warning concerning global temperature elevation, particularly evident in July.

Urgent actions are deemed necessary, including transitioning to clean energy sources, bolstering energy efficiency through modern technologies, limiting electricity consumption, rationalizing water usage, and advocating sustainable agricultural practices to curb methane emissions and preserve soil health. Other essential actions involve recycling, adopting low-carbon transportation, implementing robust climate policies, setting ambitious emissions reduction goals, enhancing climate change awareness and education, adopting sustainability practices within corporations, and advancing green technology research and development. Al-Ajiri underscored that his observations align with the sentiments of the late Dr. Saleh Al-Ajiri, who, in a 2009 scientific symposium titled “Climate Change and its Implications for Kuwait,” highlighted the perils of climate change due to mounting pollution in Kuwait. He cautioned about the vanishing positive climatic features in the Kuwaiti desert, leading to sandstorms, shifting wind patterns, and reduced precipitation.

The late Dr. Al-Ajiri’s predictions, formulated on population growth statistics and dwindling natural resources, resonates with current concerns and anticipations of water scarcity-related confl icts in the future. Meanwhile, at a time when the Ministry of Public Works and the Public Authority for Roads and Land Transport began cleaning the rainwater drainage systems in various regions and highway lines, some areas witnessed, the day before yesterday, sudden summer rains as a result of the region falling in the current period under the influence of the seasonal Indian depression.

Responsible sources in the Ministry of Works told Al-Rai that “the ministry and the PART usually start cleaning the rainwater drainage network lines in early August of each year, in preparation for the rainy season and continue until October.” The sources indicated that the ministry is currently working to coordinate with a number of concerned authorities to discuss the plan for the 2024 rainy season in order to avoid flooding of roads, especially highways.

The sources indicated that all roads were passable, the day before yesterday, with the exception of rain pools in some of the few locations that the ministry sent its equipment to withdraw. The weather conditions were surprising, last Friday, as several areas, including Sulaibikhat, Sulaibiya, Jaber Al-Ahmad and Al-Jahra, witnessed sporadic thunderstorms as a result of the country being affected by the seasonal Indian depression, while the Meteorological Department had warned earlier dust-laden winds blowing in open areas at 55 kilometers per hour. The Director of the Meteorological Department, Abdulaziz Al-Qarawi, said that the country witnessed, since Friday afternoon, a multiplication of low and medium clouds, interspersed with formations of cumulus clouds, accompanied by some thunderstorms accompanied by some hail, reducing the horizontal visibility.

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