Unstable weather in Egypt linked to climate change

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Egypt is a country that has been historically blessed with two seasons instead of four. Every year, summer would linger for about nine months while winter would refresh the atmosphere for the remaining months.
 
But the impact of climate change has changed this, and distinguishing between the seasons is becoming harder.
 
This past winter was colder than the previous one and to many, it seemed longer. From September to November, temperatures normally range from 15 to 25 degrees Celsius, and from November until the end of February, temperatures during the day usually reach 12 to 15 degrees, dropping to about 7 or 8 at night. Temperatures were lower in general from November 2010 to April 2011, with frequent rain.
 
For the past two months, irregular heat waves have warmed up an unusually long winter's end. The transition into summer witnessed low temperatures ranging from 11 to 28 degrees. For the past four days, summer seems to have settled, with daytime temperatures rising above 30.
 
Ali Qotb, head of the analysis department at the Egyptian meteorological authority, explains that lower pressure areas can cause climate variation and frequent rain during the transitional season.
 
“Temperature raises and falls, and it is accompanied with other weather changes," he says. "As it normally happens, the first part of spring resembles more winter, while the other half is closer to summer."
 
During the past month, frequent rain decreased the seasonal temperature. Qotb explains that during the first part of spring, there is cloud accumulation coming from tropical areas, which moves upward with moist air from the Red Sea, along with low pressure. These events cause frequent rain.
 
According to a report published in 2010 by the Arab Climate Resilience Initiative, part of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), scientists and policymakers agreed that average global temperatures are set to increase during the 21st century, negatively affecting biodiversity, food security, water availability, agriculture and tourism.
 
Even though the 2010 regional forum addressing climate change in the Arab countries stressed the global impact of climate change, it also warned of its “disproportionate consequences” for developing countries, which should be prepared to bear the majority of the impact from climate change due to a lack of financial and technological resources. Consequently, the inequality between rich and poor countries is expected to increase.
 
A recent report by the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) on climate change expressed the same concern concerning the Arab countries, which are among the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
 
“Rising sea-levels due to climate change will have serious consequences on the Arab region’s coastlines and low-lying deltas and islands, including its small-island states,” the UNDP report stated. 
 
The report pedicted that weather-related problems caused by climate change, such as frequent flooding, salt water contamination of fresh water supplies and erosion, could negatively impact food security, livelihood, tourism and fisheries in Arab countries.
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