Iraq as a country is now suffering from
Climate Change Impacts in similar or even worse ways than many other countries
of the world. The manifestations of these climate changes are being felt in
global warming, changes to weather driving elements and sea level rise.
Increasing temperatures, declining precipitation rates and changed distribution
patterns together with increasing evaporation are causing water stress in Iraq.
However, they trigger other changes in a sort of chain reaction; such as
droughts, desertification and sand storms. Iraq is not even safe from the
consequences of sea level rise where the southern part of the Tigris- Euphrates
delta is threatened by inundation and Iraq’s ports and sea coast line are
endangered by such projected rise. So far the agricultural sector in Iraq has
been hit very badly by the reduced water availability for arable lands; whether
rain fed lands as in the northern part, or irrigated lands using the declining
discharges of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers as in the southern and middle
parts. These discharges have already been additionally strained by the unfair sharing
practiced by Turkey from which most of the two rivers’ water resources
originate. The present negative climate change trends seem to be continuing in
the future as it is obvious from all projections and studies being performed so
far. Loss of cultivable land to desertification, recurrent droughts and sand
storms and declining agriculture are the pattern of change in Iraq’s already
fragile environment; and this will result inevitably in much more distress for
the population in the future and will lead to social unrest. These will add to
the great pressures facing all future governments unless the government takes
protective planning and solutions.
Keywords: Climate Change, Global Warming,
Sea level rise, Desertification, Droughts, Sand Storms.