If you've spent some time in an Arab country this summer, you must've melted a couple of times — thanks to the unprecedented heat.
Heatwaves didn't only hit the Arab world this summer but also affected areas previously known for cooler temperatures — including Europe. Last week, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its monthly global climate report. Turns out, June was the hottest month to be recorded on Earth over a 140-year time span.
The study found that the average global temperature in June was 1.71°F (16.82°C) above the 20th-century average of 59.9°F (15.5°C). Recorded temperatures in June marked the 414th consecutive month in which numbers exceeded the 20th-century average.
NOAA's study pointed out that nine out of the 10 hottest Junes to ever be recorded in the last 140 years took place after 2010.
The latest revelations suggest that 2019 will be among the five warmest years to ever be recorded, highlighting the intensifying impact of climate change.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that Bahrain recorded its hottest month (June 2019) since over 100 years ago. The average temperature in the Gulf country of Bahrain that month stood at 36.3°C — a four-degree increase in comparison to June of last year. More than 20 days documented maximum temperatures of 40.9°C; the hottest day hit 45.3°C.
Other countries including - but not limited to - France, Germany, New Zealand also experienced a spike in their average temperatures this year.
Average Antarctic sea-ice coverage also recorded its lowest percentage this June, standing 8.5 percent below the 1981-2010 average.
The Arab region has been suffering from the heat
This summer, extreme heatwaves have affected many countries across the Arab world. Kuwait, for example, witnessed unbearable heat with temperatures reaching a scorching 52°C in the shade. Saudi Arabia and Iraq also experienced a major heatwave in June with temperatures hitting 55°C in some Saudi cities.
In Iraq, the heat broke yet another world high this year, as temperatures hit 55.6°C in the Misan governorate. In May, temperatures also boiled up to 45°C in Cairo, Egypt and Jordan's Al Aghwar.
These changes in weather are no joke
In the wake of NOAA's latest monthly reports, the administration's officials have called on the world's governments to take collective action to bring down emissions contributing to global climate change.
In a statement on the matter, Dr. Phil Duffy, climate scientist and president and executive director of Woods Hole Research Center, said:
"Action is urgently needed at the world, federal, state and local levels to rapidly cut fossil fuel pollution and to protect and rebuild naturally stored carbon."
In the Arab world, climate change has long been an issue neglected by many local governments though it's a pressing matter that affects the entire globe. Earlier this year, a report detailing different countries' role in the battle against climate change was released. In it, Morocco was named the fourth-best country, while Saudi Arabia was named the worst.
Morocco has become a leader in pursuing sustainable energy solutions, with plans to care for 42 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2020 and 52 percent by 2030. It also aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent within 15 years. One of its most ambitious renewable energy projects is the Noor solar power plant in Ouarzazate. With hundreds of curved mirrors covering some 1,400,000 square meters of desert – an area the size of 200 football fields – the first phase of the project has already surpassed expectations.
Other Arab countries should definitely follow suit before the region becomes uninhabitable by the end of the century as indicated in a 2016 report. "MENA is a climate change hotspot that could turn into a scorching area in summer," the researchers wrote in the study published in the scientific journal Climatic Change.