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UAE expert warns of rising frequency of extreme weather

Climate change projections for the MENA region suggest that countries in the area, including the UAE, are likely to witness an increase in rainfall during the spring season, according to Dr. Diana Francis, Senior Research Scientist and Head of the Environmental and Geophysical Sciences (ENGEOS) Lab at Khalifa University.

In an interview, Dr. Francis highlighted that due to global warming, the UAE can anticipate more frequent extreme weather events, along with hotter and longer summers. These changes are attributed to shifts in atmospheric patterns influenced by climate change.

Dr. Francis explained that extreme weather events, such as heavy rainfall witnessed on April 16, are expected to become more common and intense due to rising global temperatures. She referred to recent reports from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which indicate the increasing frequency and intensity of such events.

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Her research paper titled 'Recent and projected changes in climate patterns in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region' delves into the changing climate dynamics of the region, including shifts in temperature, winds, and seasonal patterns.

Climate change projections for the MENA region suggest a warmer and drier climate with heightened extreme weather events by the end of the twenty-first century. Dr. Francis emphasized that while some areas, like the UAE and surrounding countries, may experience more rainfall during spring, others, such as the northern parts of the Arabian Peninsula, could face increased droughts.

The expansion of the equatorial zone due to rising temperatures is driving changes in atmospheric circulation, leading to shifts in climatic zones. As a result, areas near the equator may experience subtropical climates, while regions just beyond it could become drier.

Dr. Francis stressed the importance of collective action and cooperation at local, regional, and international levels to address the challenges posed by climate change. She highlighted the role of science and research in developing effective adaptation strategies and enhancing resilience against extreme weather events.

In conclusion, Dr. Francis emphasized the need for proactive measures based on scientific research to mitigate the impacts of climate change and ensure the sustainability of communities in the face of evolving weather patterns.

May 20, 2024 4:27 p.m. 488

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