Kuwait is facing a wide range of climate change challenges including sea level rise, water scarcity, desertification and loss of diversity. Kuwait is characterized by high temperature, high humidity and arid lands resulting in seriously degraded soil and land damage in addition to salt intrusion in the aquifers affecting the small scale agricultural lands thus enhancing the food security threat in the region. Kuwait is also highly susceptible to climate change due to its total dependence on oil exports.
Since 1975, Kuwait has experienced 1.50C to 20C increase in temperature, which is significantly higher than the global average. In recent years, there has been a sharp change in rainfall pattern in Kuwait which may be attributed to climate change impacts.
The country used to experience 125mm of average rainfall each year which has now been replaced by sudden spells of rainfall and long intervals of dryness. In addition, there has been marked increase in dust storms in last few decades which are noticeable signs of change in climatic conditions in Kuwait and neighbouring nations.
Kuwait is both physically and biologically threatened by the global warming phenomenon. Over the next few decades, Kuwait could be potentially facing serious impacts of climate change in the form of floods, droughts, depletion of aquifers, inundation of coastal areas, frequent sandstorms, loss of biodiversity, significant damage to ecosystems, threat to agricultural production and outbreak of diseases.
There is an urgent need to implement climate change mitigation and adaptation measures, and prepare a strong framework for socio-economic development which may be sustainable in the long-run.
For more information, please read my article on EcoMENA website