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OECD: 45 hot days and 145 particularly hot nights in Israel due to the climate crisis and worsening drought

These are data from the Climate Action Monitor report of the Organization of Developed Countries. The Ministry of Environmental Protection calls for the expansion of preparedness for climate hazards, but it lacks the ability to influence other government ministries after at the beginning of the term it spread its powers in favor of bodies that favor industry

The drying up of the Dead Sea, one of the results of the climate crisis. Illustration:
The drying up of the Dead Sea, one of the results of the climate crisis. Illustration:

At the end of the week, the Climate Action Monitor report of the OECD was published. The report analyzes and compares actions, needs and forecasts to prepare for the climate crisis (adaptation) and necessary reductions (mitigation) of the OECD member countries and other partner countries in the context of climate change.

The OECD's "Climate Action Monitor" report for 2023 contains comprehensive information on climate action and progress towards net zero goals for the 51 OECD partner countries. The report covers a wide range of topics, including greenhouse gas emissions, climate-related risks and current trends in climate action.

The OECD's report is published against the backdrop of last summer, which according to the Copernicus Climate Service was the hottest summer since measurements began, where each of the months June, July, August, September and October were the hottest compared to those months in the history of measurements. According to estimates, the year 2023 will almost certainly be the hottest year since measurements began, and will be 1.43 degrees Celsius higher than pre-industrial levels. As a future scenario for exposures, a medium scenario (SSP 2-4.5) was selected in the report. Prof. Nega Kronfeld Shore is a member of the expert committee of the International Program for Action on Climate that compiled the report.

The report presents a number of important results that require Israel to prepare:

According to the report, even in the mild scenario chosen, in the years 2080-2099, a person in Israel is expected to be exposed to about 80 days a year when the maximum temperature will exceed 35 degrees Celsius. This figure is the third highest among all the countries examined, and it is due to the fact that Israel will have about 45 more such days per person on average compared to 1995-2014. This increase is the highest among all the OECD and partner countries examined.

, this departure is even more severe when examining the results regarding warm nights, when the temperature will not drop below 20 degrees Celsius. In the years 2080-2099, Israelis will be exposed to about 145 such nights, a number that represents an increase of about 48 nights per year per person on average compared to the average value between 1995-2014. This increase is the second highest in relation to the countries examined. Hot nights, and especially a long duration of hot nights, contribute equally and even more in some cases to heat stroke, to the development of urban heat islands and to an increase in mortality. Hence there is an urgent need to prepare for widespread exposure of the population to high temperatures for a long time.

Another issue where relatively unusual results are presented regarding Israel is the exposure of crops to drought conditions, which are defined in the report by an index that includes a decrease in precipitation and exposure to high temperatures (which affect soil moisture). The increase in the area exposed to drought conditions between the average of the years 1995-2014 and the area expected to be exposed to drought conditions in the years 2080-2099 in a moderate scenario in Israel is the highest among all the countries examined. Recently, the Ministry of Environmental Protection published a report of the Inter-ministerial Committee for Food Systems Assessments for Climate Change led by the chief scientist at the Ministry, Prof. Nega Kronfeld Shore: In the report recommendations for actions that will help Israel deal with these risks in a comprehensive way. The data presented in the OECD report that has just been published reinforces the need to implement the recommendations made in the report by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and its partners in the government.

The chief scientist of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Prof. Nega Kronfeld Shore: "The report clearly shows the fact that Israel is at increased risk (hot spot) for the consequences of climate change. In order to deal with the forecasts, we must promote the local scientific and professional knowledge on the subject, which will enable informed decisions to be made based on science and knowledge. The office promotes research on climate change by issuing calls for research and scholarships, and is also engaged in building a spatial tool that will assist decision makers in making decisions and setting priorities regarding climate change assessments. Even today, when Israel faces security threats, it is important not to neglect dealing with additional threats, including climate change, and especially today, it is important that the setting of priorities and the investment of resources is done correctly and efficiently."

Director of the Senior Climate Resilience Division at the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Dr. Amiel Vesel: "The Ministry of Environmental Protection works systematically with all government ministries and with dozens of local authorities to promote optimal preparation for the expected changes. We continue and update the various scenarios together with the professional bodies entrusted with this in Israel and around the world. After in-depth and extensive staff work, in the coming months we will publish the national plan for preparing for climate change, which will outline how the country will deal with these dangers. Increasing climate resilience will help the authorities and government ministries in the variety of security and social challenges expected in the future."

Apparently the Ministry of Environmental Protection is concerned about the findings, but it spread in advance with the establishment of the last ecclesiastical government of most of the powers it had against the industry. In addition, immediately after taking office, the Minister of Environmental Protection Adit Silman summoned a number of prominent Israeli climate crisis deniers to a meeting. The Ecclesiastical Forum imitates in Israel the right-wing faction of the Republican Party whose main focus is the denial of science in favor of the capitalists who own energy companies. We have enough problems of our own, no need to imitate other people's problems.

It also connects to the main part of the report we reported to you about In a separate file according to which there is a significant lag between the commitments of the OECD countries to reduce emissions and the actual results.

See: Who is sabotaging the efforts to fight the climate crisis


How is Israel preparing for climate change?

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