Unprecedented temperature warning in Kuwait

Abdulaziz Al-Qarawi, a meteorologist with the Kuwait Meteorological Department, warned that his country will enter in a “dangerous phase” by 2035, with expectations that the annual temperature will increase by about two degrees Celsius compared to 2010.

Al-Qarawi told Reuters that these rates actually increased 1.1 degrees in the years 2010 to 2021 compared to the previous 30 years. In recent years, Kuwait has been experiencing temperatures recordincluding 54 degrees in the Jahra region northwest of the capital in 2021 and 53 degrees in the Sulaibiya region west of the capital in 2020, both of which are populated areas.

Al-Qarawi said temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius were recorded in Kuwait for one, two or even four days a year in the 1980s and 1990s, but now maybe 20 days a year are recorded. The intensity of the air, thunder and dust storms that hit the country has also increased, usually full of dust that causes cases of suffocation, especially for people with chest diseases, transmits harmful bacteria and increases the spread of skin diseases.

Many believe that Kuwait can, with individual effort or in collaboration with its neighbors, mitigate the rise in temperature and reduce it by several degrees if it can plant vast desert areas extending north and south. Kuwait has a vision to convert 15% of its energy in renewable sources by 2030.

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To realize this vision, Kuwait established the “Al-Shaqaya Renewable Energy” complex in the north-west of the country, in an initiative adopted and implemented by the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, which aims to transfer and localize a blend of renewable energy technologies in Kuwait to produce electricity. The government has also adopted the construction of environmentally friendly buildings in its new projects, the most important of which is the new Kuwait airport project, currently in construction.

However, astronomer and historian Adel Al-Saadoun believes, according to what he explained in an interview with Reuters, that the effective solution lies in planting about twenty million trees in Kuwait to reduce temperatures by five degrees Celsius. Al-Saadoun stresses that the priority in the reforestation process should be for the northern and western regions because they are the main source of wind carrying dust, which is a problem for most of the population, especially in summer.