Climate change alarm bells ringing: Temperature rises across Iran over spring

June 26, 2018

TEHRAN — All Iranian provinces experienced an average 0.8 degrees on the Celsius scale temperature rise over spring compared to the long-term mean, the director of the national center for drought and crisis management, affiliated to Meteorological Organization, has said.

The long-term mean temperature in spring was 20.3 degrees on the Celsius scale nationwide, ISNA news agency quoted Sadeq Ziaeian as saying on Monday. 

Unfortunately, none of the provinces experienced a drop in temperatures over spring, Ziaeian said, adding that provinces of Tehran, Hamedan, and Markazi saw the smallest variations in mean temperatures relatively speaking. 

Meanwhile, province of Sistan and Baluchestan with 1.3°C temperature rise and provinces of Bushehr, Kerman and Khuzestan all with 1.2°C increase in temperature set the record high for the hottest temperatures during spring, he explained. 

Commenting on the long-term mean temperature in the Iranian calendar month of Khordad (May 22-June 21) being 25.2°C the official highlighted that provinces of Khuzestan, Kerman and Yazd with 1.8, 1.7 and 1.5 Centigrade temperature rise were the hottest provinces over the last month of spring. 

Alarm bell of climate change for officials

Earlier in month of Bahman (January 21-February 19) Davood Parhizkar, director of Iran’s Meteorological Organization, said that heads of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government, ministers and heads of parliament groups are all provided with Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment report. 

There are no high ranking officials who are not informed about the onset of climate change in the country, Parhizkar noted, adding “We have rang the alarm bells of climate change for the officials.”

Over the past 50 years the average precipitation has decreased by 50 millimeters nationwide in the country and climate change is certainly to blame, he warned, stating, if the current trends for production of greenhouses gasses continue the precipitation levels will keep dropping. 

How to respond to climate change?

The global increases in carbon dioxide concentration are due primarily to fossil fuel use and land use change. According to NASA humans have increased atmospheric CO2 concentration by more than a third since the Industrial Revolution began. This is the most important long-lived forcing of climate change.

According to the figures published on the Statistics Portal Iran is among the largest producers of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2016, based on their share of global energy-related CO2 emissions.

As per the report China is the biggest emitter of carbon dioxide as it accounted for around 28.21 percent of global CO2 emissions in 2016. Ranked as the 8th largest producer of carbon dioxide Iran accounted for 1.72 percent of the carbon dioxide worldwide that year. 

Paris Climate Agreement, also known as Paris climate accord, is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance starting in the year 2020. The Agreement aims to address the global climate change threat by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Doing nothing is not an option

Iran has submitted Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to the UNFCCC committing to cut the greenhouse gas emissions by 4% percent in 2030. However, subject to termination and non-existence of unfair and brutal sanctions, availability of international resources in the form of financial support and technology transfer, exchange of carbon credits, accessibility of bilateral or multilateral implementation mechanisms, transfer of clean technologies as well as capacity building, Iran has the potential of mitigating greenhouse gas emission up to 12%.

Iranian officials are having doubt about ratifying Paris climate accord saying that by ratifying the Paris agreement, Iran should make commitments which might put the country into significant expenses and that the deal may act against our national interest and that’s why we should proceed with extreme caution.

However, the temperature rise, lower precipitation levels and never-ending drought spells in some provinces are all premonitions of a warmer and waterless future.

Jonathan Lynn, head of communications and media relations at Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - the international body for assessing the science related to climate change - told the Tehran Times in June that climate is a global phenomenon, it doesn’t stop at borders, every country is vulnerable to climate change. 

He further explained that tackling climate change isn’t just a burden, it’s also an opportunity as adjusting the economies to climate change lead to new business opportunities to take and there are new jobs in green economies. 

“So it’s not just that you have to spend money to deal with climate change it’s something that you should want to do because it will bring you other benefits and if you do nothing then you will face the costs. Doing nothing is not an option.

“At the moment we have the possibility of adapting to climate change. But if we do nothing and let it carry on we will reach a point where we can no longer adapt and when you can no longer adapt then the only option is to suffer,” the IPCC official warned. 

MQ/MG

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