by Hana Namrouqa | Feb 07, 2013 | 22:24

AMMAN — Climate change will affect the Kingdom’s biodiversity and ecosystems as the region is witnessing less precipitation due to droughts, according to a microbiologist.

Detailed knowledge of how climate change affects biodiversity is still very limited, but recent studies have identified a number of areas where changes from global warming are evident, according to Nura Abboud, president of the Jordanian Society for Microbial Biodiversity.

“The exact impact of climate change on Jordan’s biodiversity and ecosystems is not clear yet; however, we are witnessing shifting rainfall patterns linked to climate change,” Abboud said in a lecture on Wednesday.

She added that several local studies were conducted over the past three years to determine how climate change was affecting the country’s biodiversity and natural habitat.

“A recent study indicated that if the climate continues to warm up, it could dramatically increase the number of species going extinct,” Abboud said in the lecture, which was held at Wild Jordan in Jabal Amman.

She highlighted that 24 per cent of the species in the studied regions will be on their way to extinction by 2050 due to climate change, noting that grasslands, livestock and water resources are likely to be most vulnerable.

Abboud noted that the studies predict changes in animal and bird migration patterns as well.

“Several species of birds arrived earlier than they did in pre-warming times. Early arrival in the spring of migratory birds has resulted in increased competition for optimal nest sites,” the microbiologist underscored.

In addition, the phenomenon is causing changes in the reproduction of migratory birds, which depend on lakes and streams for their breeding cycle, Abboud said.

Official figures indicate that climate change has caused a 30 per cent reduction in the Kingdom’s surface water resources, as well as a decrease in the volume of rainfall and agricultural production, both of which Jordan and the Arab world rely on heavily.
Analyses of climate change scenarios during the 21st century indicate that Jordan will experience more frequent droughts as a consequence of year-round increases in temperature.—-microbiologist