Saudi Arabia in a 3-degrees Warmer World – Climate Futures Report

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Saudi Arabia in a 3-degrees Warmer World – Climate Futures Report

About the Author

Saudi Arabia faces a significant challenge in adapting to the profound impacts of a swiftly changing climate. As global temperatures rise due to escalating greenhouse gas emissions, the nation is expected to undergo more rapid and pronounced climate changes compared to other regions. This not only amplifies climate-related risks across diverse sectors but also profoundly affects biodiversity, freshwater resources, agricultural productivity, industry and economy, and the overall health and well-being of its populace.

Here are the key highlights of the report:

Amplification of Climate Response: Saudi Arabia can anticipate a heightened climate response across various factors, particularly in comparison to other parts of the world. The Arabian Peninsula has warmed at a rate 50% higher than other northern hemisphere landmasses.

Unique Risks and Challenges: The report emphasizes the necessity for every country, including Saudi Arabia, to identify and address the distinctive risks and challenges posed by climate change to their society and economy. Planning and preparation are crucial, especially in the context of Vision 2030 and ambitious giga-project initiatives.

Ecosystem Strain: Saudi Arabia is already witnessing the impacts of climate change on its local and regional environments. Marine systems, hosting diverse aquatic ecosystems, are strained due to climate change and anthropogenic pressures, leading to coral bleaching, species threats, and overfishing.

Food and Water Security: Climate change poses threats to food and water security. Extreme heat affects crop yields, variable rainfall patterns disrupt water resources, and groundwater depletion necessitates increased food imports, bringing additional climate and geopolitical risks.

Urban Vulnerabilities: As one of the most urbanized regions globally, Saudi Arabia faces increasing risks to the operation and function of cities and settlements. Rising temperatures, combined with energy-intensive processes, create a feedback cycle, amplifying pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Human Health Impacts: Heat waves and high humidity, projected to increase in frequency, strain human health. This includes heat-related stress, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, diabetes, kidney issues, and mental health concerns, exacerbated by poor air quality and disease risks.

The report forecasts potential consequences of a 3°C warmer world by the century’s end, encouraging informed decision-making, adaptive strategies, and sustainable development efforts. It underscores the urgency to alter the current climate trajectory to ensure a more secure and prosperous future.

About the Author

The report represents a collaborative effort involving three esteemed organizations: KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology), a world-class research university committed to interdisciplinary advancements in science and technology; KAPSARC (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center), an independent non-profit institution specializing in energy economics, policies, and technologies; and AEON Collective, a dynamic consultancy and research organization focused on sustainable development, climate action, and environmental impact. Together, these organizations bring a wealth of expertise to the table. KAUST is renowned for its commitment to scientific innovation, KAPSARC for its contributions to energy-related research, and AEON Collective for its holistic approach to addressing complex challenges.

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