Tuesday, January 8

Unless all Middle Eastern countries hang together they will hang separately

Here's why:

1. November 24, 2018, Accuweather:

Heavy rain, deadly flooding to continue across the Middle East into Sunday
... While November is often the beginning of the wet season, the rain has been more frequent and heavier than normal across Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq and Iran so far this month.  ... Rounds of heavy rain and thunderstorms through Sunday will total 25-75 mm (1-3 inches). The region averages around only 100-125 mm (4-5 inches) per year. Hardest-hit parts of Kuwait, southeastern Iraq, and southwestern Iran could get up to 150 mm (6 inches). ... 

You're looking at a NASA photo of a dust/sandstorm in September 2015 that struck across Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Cyprus. It was a very strange storm because of its intensity, place of origin, and the time of year it struck. 

Now what jumps up and shouts at us is that the disturbances shown in the two illustrations were not limited to one nation in the Middle East. Why is that? Because Nature paid no mind to Mr Sykes and Mr Picot, that's why. Nature pays no attention to human boundaries.  

The countries in the Middle East share a particular weather region, and it's the weather, and the geographies it interacts with, that define a region -- and call the shots in this world. 

However, human activities can have an impact on micro-climates and micro-geographies, and here I'm not talking about human-made 'greenhouse' gases. The impacts can create knock-on effects that accumulate and then converge, setting off a disaster before anyone understands what caused it. 

We've been seeing in a lot of convergences in this era that can encompass an entire region. That's chiefly because we've been making mistakes on a grand scale -- sometimes a global scale -- for about the past century and now the consequences are piling up.

And there is the life of this planet, which can be very hard on human life. One day we're going about our business, not bothering so much as a flea, then BAM! one quake of the earth can wipe out a large number of us in the wink of an eye.

There's nothing much we can do about situations beyond our control but there's plenty we can do to correct mistakes of our own making. When the mistakes spill across nations in a single region, this is the time for people in those nations to think and act regionally.

Speaking of region-wide mistakes that can be corrected, here's one.  

You say the Middle East's temperature is rising? Turn off all the air conditioning there for 48 hours then call me in the morning. Few scientific studies have been done on the impact on local weather of hot air exhaust from air conditioners, but if you plow through this study, How much can air conditioning increase air temperatures for a city like Paris, France? published in 2012 by the Royal Meteorology Society, you'll see the impact can be between 1 and 2 degrees in varying areas of Paris, which had nowhere near the amount of air conditioning used in Middle Eastern cities. But the most troubling finding in the study was that the temperature rise happened at night, for reasons the scientists explain.  

The scientists were only studying temperature differences, not lowering of humidity caused by the exhaust from air conditioners. although that would be a crucial question for the aridest parts of the Middle East.  

I'll interject that the heat from air conditioner exhaust is distinct from heat generated by the 'urban island' effect and has nothing to do with carbon emissions associated with air conditioners.

If you say they don't dare shut off the air conditioning in the Middle East for two days -- well, I don't know exactly how many days it would have to be off before they'd notice a difference. But they'd have to shut everything down if they completely ran out of electricity and they could be on track for that. See The Lights Are Going Out in the Middle East. (May 2017, The New Yorker). But yes, there's no way they'd willingly do it. 

There is a way to capture the exhaust from the air conditioners and, if my memory serves, turn it into energy although don't quote me on that until I review my notes from last year. Yet this won't be done on a scale large enough to make a real difference until governments in the region get together and fund a study on the impact of microclimates across the Middle East from air conditioner exhaust. Then the governments could again work together on projects that prevent the exhaust from going into the atmosphere.

This is one project that could stand to benefit the entire region of the Middle East. I see plenty of other such projects if Middle Easterners start thinking for their whole region. 


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