Muscat: The Sultanate’s average annual maximum temperature was 2.6 degrees higher in 2017 than it was in 2012, according to data published by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).
Data from NCSI’s 46th issue of the 2018 Statistical Yearbook showed that Oman’s average annual maximum temperature in 2017 was 33.6 compared with 31.0 in 2012. Additionally, the mean minimum temperature last year was 23.1 degrees compared with 21.8 degrees five years ago.
Meanwhile, Oman’s mean rainfall fell from 95.3 millimetres in 2016 to 74.7 millimetres in 2017.
According to US space agency NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the average global temperature in 2012 was 14.6 degrees Celsius
Dr. Sudheer Kumar Shukla, Environmental Researcher and Senior Lecturer at Caledonian College of Engineering, said, “The rise in the temperature may be due to the greenhouse effect. This could result in climate change, leading to seasonal changes. As a result, in the long-term, warmer weather in general could lead to the flooding of coastal areas, as well as harsher summers and winter seasons.”
“Warmer weather could also contribute to a growth in the number of insects and flies,” he added. “This can be changed by moving towards renewable energy sources such as solar and wind-based energy. Planting more trees, minimising consumption, and reducing waste generated will also help.”
Oman has signed the landmark Paris Agreement, which aims at strengthening the world’s response to the threat of climate change by keeping the global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and undertaking efforts to limit the temperature increase even further, to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Oman’s climate action plan, which was submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2015 by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, vowed to cut its expected greenhouse gas emissions growth by 2 per cent to 88,714 gigagrams from 2020 to 2030. Additionally, Oman pledged to increase the share of renewable energy, and reduce gas flaring in the oil industry.
In its report, the Sultanate identified flash floods, heat waves, a sea level rise, coastal erosion, water scarcity and desertification as being among the projected impacts of climate change.
Highlighting its mitigation efforts, the Sultanate outlined sustainable buildings, energy efficiency, low carbon transport initiatives, and carbon sinks among the initiatives it would pursue.