I might have already linked to the following Associated Press report but I don't want to take time to search for it on my blog and at any rate the report could bear repeating.
I also can't remember (this damn war in Syria) whether I mentioned in August that the record-breaking heat wave that struck wide swaths of the Middle East last year was repeated this summer. This year's heat wave seems to have broken last year's records or come close.
Here's Al Jazeera's August 29 report on the heat wave, which roasted Baghdad and Basra with temperatures close to 50 C. (122 F). This was a wet heat, not like the bone-dry heat in say, Death Valley. I can remember as a child playing in the desert near Tuscon, Arizona where temperatures must have been close to 100 F, and not thinking anything of it. There was no humidity.
The extreme temperatures have also reached parts of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iran but its greatest impact is being felt in Iraq.
The ongoing turmoil in the country has left tens of thousands of people displaced. Many are living in temporary accommodation where lack of air conditioning and intermittent electricity supplies means having to endure temperatures well in excess of what is normal in the the late summers.
There has been a marked increase in the number of people admitted into hospitals suffering from heat exhaustion and dehydration.
Farmers have reported that crops are also suffering due to the high temperatures and lack of water for irrigation purpose.
Economists estimate that the country's GDP has shrunk by 20 to 30 percent during this period.
[...]What's going to happen if the trend continues next summer in the same places? Well, we'll think about that next year.
'We are thirsty' say Tunisians as drought creates tensions
El Alem reporting from Sbikha, Bkalta and Mateur, Tunisia.
Published September 24, 2016
Struggling with extremism and economic woes, Tunisia now faces another menace: persistent drought across several regions that is creating new social tensions and threatening farming, a pillar of the economy.