Extreme weather events are already adversely impacting the people and environment in Iraq. Record low levels of rainfall and poor water resource management contribute to increasing food and water insecurity and related displacements. Sandstorms, extreme heatwaves and rising air temperatures are adding to the challenges faced. Confronted with such immediate risks to people’s livelihoods, trustworthy data is crucial to enable stakeholders to conduct much needed long-term planning that promotes resilience. Climate Risk Profile: Iraq contributes to meeting this need. Weathering Risk’s Climate Risk Profile: Iraq provides forward-looking data on the climatic situation in Iraq with the goal of supporting resilience-oriented long-term planning. The paper summarizes projected climate parameters and related sectoral impacts under two different emissions scenarios from now until 2080.
The climate models employed project that until 2080, under a medium to high emissions scenario, air temperatures will very likely rise by up to 4.8 °C, compared to pre-industrial levels. Such temperature increases pose a risk to the population’s ability to work and live and will increase heat-related mortalities. The climate models further include lower certainty projections for parameters including precipitation, water availability, agriculture, GDP exposure to heatwaves and ecosystems impacts.
These projected climate impacts will increase fragility risks associated with displacement and might further undermine local and regional stability. However, reliable data can enhance capacity for action and improve operational responses towards a more climate-resilient and peaceful future. When analysed alongside localised human security data, these projections can be used to inform climate-security risk assessments to support strategic and operational risk-informed decision making and identify entry points for action