MENA REGION (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env & Eco)

News-CRUX-10     27th February 2024        
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Context: Researchers from the European Geosciences Union recently conducted a study projecting future water storage changes across the Mediterranean, Middle East, and North Africa in response to global warming and a climate intervention method aimed at mimicking planet cooling effects.

Highlight of the Report

  • Water Stress in MENA Region: MENA is currently among the most water-stressed regions worldwide, with 12 out of the 17 most water-stressed countries situated here.
  • Impact on Terrestrial Water Storage (TWS): TWS encompasses all water on land surfaces and subsurfaces and is projected to decrease in wetter areas around the Caspian and Mediterranean seas but increase across most of the MENA region.
  • Mediterranean Vulnerability: Despite better water storage, the Mediterranean region is expected to suffer reduced water availability due to decreased rainfall and increased irrigation demand under future climate scenarios.
  • Stratospheric Aerosol Intervention (SAI): The study examined the impact of SAI on mitigating global warming effects in the region, which aims to mimic the cooling effects of volcanic eruptions by injecting sulphur dioxide into the stratosphere.
  • Regional Trends: Global warming generally decreases TWS extremes, with some exceptions. SAI implementation partly mitigates reductions in extreme TWS in certain regions like Iran and Iraq.

Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

  • About: MENA stands for the Middle East and North Africa region, encompassing approximately 19 to 27 countries.
  • Population Dynamics: The World Bank identifies 21 countries in MENA, representing about 6% of the world's population, according to 2020 data.
  • Resource Reserves: OPEC data reveals that the MENA region holds over 50% of the world's oil reserves and 40% of its natural gas reserves.
  • Global Economic Significance: MENA's significant production of petroleum and natural gas positions it as a crucial contributor to the global economy and energy supply.
  • Countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Palestine, and Yemen.
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