A populous region encompassing the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean has become a climate hot spot, with temperatures in recent years rising almost twice as fast as the global average
The sun-scorched region, which spans more than a dozen countries with a collective population exceeding 400 million, has warmed at a rate of 0.45 degree Celsius each decade since 1981.
The per-decade global average rose 0.27 degree C in the same time frame. Temperatures in the region have risen faster than in Europe, North America and other highly populous parts of the globe.
Along with high humidity, extreme high temperatures in summer are now common in the region, which encompasses Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, the Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
In June, Kuwait, Iraq and Iran experienced temperatures above 49 degrees C).
Jos Lelieveld, director of atmospheric chemistry at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Germany and the leader of the 21-member team of researchers who conducted the analysis.
The analysis was published in June in the peer-reviewed journal Reviews of Geophysics.