The Kuwait Geographical Society (KGS) held a discussion panel on ‘climate and environmental changes and effects of rain and storms on Kuwait’ at its premises in Qadsiya on Monday. Meteorologist Eisa Ramadan warned about heavier rain in the future. “The rain will be heavier and more intensive. Between 2020 and 2027, rainfall may reach over 300 mm, while rainwater drainage systems were designed for only 20 mm per hour. In the past, the average rainfall was around 115 to 120 mm, but the recent rains were really heavy,” he said.
According to him, the data in the past were not accurate. “In Europe, they have exact data from over 1,000 years. Climate change was not sudden, but mainly caused by the industrial revolution. Our environment is a desert one and visible climate change has been noticed, especially with heavy short bursts of rain, which is not very useful, as it’s not continuous,” added Ramadan.
Temperatures will also rise in the future. “We prepared a study on climate change, and temperatures will rise till 2100. Between 2030 and 2070, the temperature will increase by 3-4 degrees Celsius, and by 2100, the temperature will be higher by at least 5 degrees. This will affect our energy and life in general. Climate change has also brought about more phenomena including shifting of seasons, which led to an increase of insects and other effects,” he explained.
Abdulaziz Al-Qarawi, a meteorologist at the Meteorological Department, described the recent flooding as an exceptional situation. “In 1997, when rainwater flooded Kuwait, we registered 114 mm of rainfall, while last month we registered an average of 262 mm. The manholes in residential areas can only hold 20 mm of rain per hour, while airport manholes and those on highways can handle 27 mm, which is not enough compared to the heavy rains we witnessed, so they got flooded,” he pointed out.
Climate change has two main effects – rising temperature and rain. “Rainfall was unprecedented this year, not only in Kuwait but also in Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Some areas were also built on dried streams – the Mangaf tunnel was built on a stream, according to geographical maps. Climate change also causes higher temperatures, and this was proven by registering the highest temperature ever of 54 degrees Celsius in 2016,” Qarawi added.
Dr Salman Al-Failakawi, a Public Authority for Applied Education and Training teacher, highlighted the fact that rainfall in Kuwait is irregular. “Rainfall is rare, so after a dry spell, heavy rain causes torrents. This is why usually countries with regular rainfall don’t face such disasters, as their system is ready. Also, dryness causes clogging of the rain drainage system with sand, stones and other dirt. So 40 mm of rain per hour caused floods, which was a disaster,” he stated.
Torrents are caused by natural and human factors. “The natural factor is the soil – 90 percent of our soil is desert and poor in plants, and with human activities, it gets flattened. Also, it’s covered with a calcareous layer which resists water absorption. When the level of underground water gets higher in residential areas, the torrents are stronger,” stressed Failakawi.
Dr Ahmad Al-Qasabi, a teacher at Alexandria University, gave a presentation on the different types of roads that were damaged by the floods. “Wafra road is not finished yet, but it’s damaged already. The floods damaged its sides, and the solution is in fixing it with limestone rocks or concrete on the sides. The damage that happened in Sabah Al-Ahmad City was due to surface deposits, and the same problem is found in Mutlaa,” he noted.
Via: Kuwait Times
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