One after the other, European countries such as Spain and Portugal posted record highs this year.
The Northern Hemisphere actually saw record temperatures, with parts of Europe threatening food supplies with wildfires and droughts. And, often, European cities saw warmer conditions than those in the Persian Gulf.
But experts say temperature alone isn’t an adequate measure of a city’s livability—a combination of heat and humidity. And this is why even at the same temperature the Middle East is much less habitable than Europe.
The Middle East is still quite hot. The Iranian city of Abadan set a record for the hottest dry summer temperature this year, when it hit 53 °C (127 °F) on August 5. But combine this with the high level of humidity in this area and it becomes even more inhospitable. place for humans. It’s harder to cool down when the weather is humid, as our bodies struggle to transfer their heat to “wet” air instead of dry air, making it harder to sweat and lowering our body temperature. it happens.
The measurement of heat combined with humidity is called wet bulb temperature. The name stems from the way this condition is measured, literally by wrapping a wet cloth around a thermometer and measuring the temperature as the water evaporates.
It directly tells our body’s ability to cool itself through sweat.
“The wet bulb temperature is the lowest temperature that can be reached by evaporative cooling,” Tapio Schneider, a professor of environmental science and engineering at the California Institute of Technology, told CNN.
The Middle East is particularly vulnerable to rising global temperatures. “The area is already hot and could be humid,” he said. “Therefore, global warming could push it into an area where human health is at risk.”
On 19 July, the UK experienced its hottest day on record, crossing 40C for the first time, with a high of 40.3C in eastern England. On the same day, the average temperature in both London and Dubai was 34C – but the wet bulb temperature in London was 20C, while in Dubai the more painful 27C.
A wet bulb temperature of 35C means that the body can no longer cool itself to a temperature that can maintain normal functions.
“It’s a hard limit to live under, independent of age and fitness, humans cannot survive under those conditions; they would die within hours without special exertion,” Schneider said.
Only a wet bulb temperature of less than 35C is also not ideal. “Humans experience heat stress even at low wet bulb temperatures,” he said. “And the extent to which they can survive such heat stress depends on fitness, age and pre-existing conditions.”
The oil-rich Arab states of the Persian Gulf have equipped themselves against the heat with energy-intensive air conditioning, but other regional countries are not as privileged.
In Iraq, employees in the city of Basra were told earlier this month to stay indoors due to high temperatures. However, homes that get electricity from the national grid for only 10 hours can afford it, paying private generator providers to cover other hours.
In Gaza, residents cool with three to four hours of daily electricity, who suffer for periods of up to 20 hours per day without electricity. Similarly, the government of Lebanon no longer provides electricity for more than two hours per day.
And even in some Gulf Arab states, such as Kuwait, where there is a building boom, access to air conditioning is not available to everyone, including construction workers who are working hard outside.
Saudi activist gets 34 years in prison for Twitter activity
- backgroundAl-Shahab, a PhD student at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, was arrested in January 2021 and subjected to interrogation sessions over a period of 265 days, ALQST said in a statement. According to court documents, the mother of two was initially given a six-year sentence late last year, which was increased to 34 years after al-Shahab filed an appeal. ALQST said, “the charges filed against him by the Public Prosecution include providing assistance to those seeking to disrupt public order and undermining the safety of the general public and the stability of the state, and publishing false and trending rumors on Twitter.” ”
- why it matters: Al-Shahab’s prison sentence is by far the longest sentence for a peaceful activist in the state’s history, according to the ALQST. Lena al-Hathloul, the head of the organization’s Monitoring and Communications, told CNN that al-Shahab was arrested for supporting her sister, Louzain al-Hathloul, a prominent activist who spent more than 1,000 days in prison Were. Lina al-Hathloul said in an ALQST statement that al-Shahab’s sentence “makes a mockery of the Saudi authorities’ claims of reforming women and the legal system,” adding that it “shows that they will punish anyone who expresses Live in hell to give harsh punishment. Their opinion is freely.”
Israeli army raids Palestinian civil society organizations in West Bank
According to Israel’s Defense Ministry, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) raided seven offices of five Palestinian civil society organizations in the West Bank on Thursday morning.
- backgroundThe five groups were labeled as terrorist organizations by the Israeli government last year, which accused them of “covertly supporting their activity on the international front on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)”. accused of acting”. Advance your goals.” The Palestine Liberation Organization condemned the move, saying it would urge human rights organizations to “intervene immediately and condemn pressure on non-governmental organizations to close and reopen them.”
- why it matters: The move caused frustration and protest among international organizations. Israeli human rights watchdog B’Salem condemned the raid and called Israel’s allegations false. “We will continue to work with our partners in Palestinian NGOs to end the apartheid regime,” a statement from the organization said. Although not directly linked, the news comes after the deadliest violence between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants since a brief war last May. Earlier in August, more than 40 Palestinian militants and civilians, including 15 children, were killed during two-and-a-half days of fighting, after Israel launched attacks on Islamic Jihad terrorist group targets in Gaza. Palestinian militants fired more than 1,000 rockets at Israel.
Turkey’s Erdogan meets with Ukraine’s Zelensky and UN chief
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in the Ukrainian city of Lviv on Thursday, expressed concern about the ongoing conflict around the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, “a new threat Warned of. Chernobyl.”
- background: Minister of Ukraine and Russia signed an agreement To unblock Ukrainian Black Sea ports brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in Istanbul on 22 July amid concerns over the global food crisis. Urging Russia and Ukraine to find “the shortest and best way to the negotiating table”, the Turkish leader said on Thursday: “I maintain my belief that the war will eventually end at the negotiating table. Indeed handjob [Zelensky] And Guterres echoes this idea.” Zelensky responded by saying that he was surprised by Erdogan’s suggestion and that he “has no faith in the Russian Federation.” They are raping, they don’t want peace, so they have to liberate our territories first,” said the Ukrainian president.
- why it matters: Turkey has been hosting talks between representatives of Russia and Ukraine for months, and Erdogan is vying for a mediating role in the conflict. This role was increased after Ankara helped Ankara in a deal to allow grain exports from blocked Ukrainian ports. In the process, Erdogan engaged in a strategic balancing act between Russia on the one hand and Ukraine and the West on the other. At Thursday’s meeting in Lviv, the Turkish president said, “We are ready to act as a facilitator or mediator towards the goal of reviving the dialogue on the parameters established in Istanbul.”
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around the area
“The treasured work, national wealth and their proper maintenance of Tehran’s Museum of Contemporary Art are the most important concerns of all of us, and the attention and sensitivity of the Iranian art family is a valuable asset,” the statement said.
Once the museum came to know about the situation, pest control technicians rushed to tackle the problem, it said. “Fortunately, this work was not damaged, and no insects were seen in the other works on the exhibition,” it continued.
Experts are fudging the exterior of the building as it is possible for insects to enter from outside, the statement said.
The Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art is one of the largest art museums in the country, with a large collection of both Iranian and Western paintings. After the Iranian Revolution of 1979, many famous Western artifacts were stored and hidden in museum vaults for decades. Now, the museum frequently displays artwork from around the world, including the United States and Europe.
by Zeena Safik
photo of the Day