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How has Egypt’s climate changed?

Since the Industrial Revolution, the global climate has been warming, and this is also true for Egypt. Find out more in this article.
City of Cairo

The desert conditions in the north of Africa are the major feature in Egypt. However, this region has not always been a desert. Watch the video to learn more about the forces controlling the climate in the region:

Why does the Sahara Desert exist?

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

Since the Industrial Revolution, the global climate has been warming, and on average, the Earth is around 1 degree warmer than it was. However, the warming is not evenly spread, and this is also true for Egypt.

In fact, between 1850 and 2020, the average annual temperature in Egypt increased by around 1.6 degrees Celsius with most of this warming happening in just the past couple decades.

This graph shows how temperatures have changed since 1901, with the blue bars below the line showing cooler temperatures and the red bars above the line showing warmer temperatures. You can see how much the overall temperature has increased in just over 100 years!

Graph showing the temperature change in Egypt from 1901 to 2021 © Ed Hawkins (2022) CC BY-SA 4.0. (Click to expand).

Sea level rise

Measurements have shown that the level of the Mediterranean Sea has been rising with warming temperatures. This is partly due to melting ice in other regions of the world and partly down to the fact that warmer water expands.

Measurements along the Mediterranean coast of Egypt have shown that the sea level has been rising at an average rate of 3mm/year, with the rate of sea level rise increasing in recent years. Storms in recent years have caused short term but damaging surges of up to one meter above the average sea level. Rising sea levels are leading to higher levels of land erosion, flooding and saltwater intrusion.

Winds and storms

Records show that dry and dust carrying khamaseen winds are becoming more severe and more frequent in recent years as a result of man-made climate change.

Extreme weather events, including severe rain fall are become more frequent, more intense and less predictable. This poses a great threat to safety, as well as to infrastructure such as buildings, roads, and electricity and sewage systems.

Between 1979 and 2007 the sea levels in the Arabian Gulf region have risen by 2.2mm every year, and it appears that this rate of rise is increasing year on year with some parts of the coast seeing over 3mm of sea level rise each year since the turn of the century.

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Climate Solutions: Egypt

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