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Desert blooms again: Makkah’s vegetation soars over 600% thanks to rain

Desert blooms again: Makkah’s vegetation soars over 600% thanks to rain

Desert blooms again: Makkah’s vegetation soars over 600% thanks to rain

Desert blooms again: Makkah’s vegetation soars over 600% thanks to rain

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  • Makkah’s vegetation soars over 600% in 5 months thanks to heavy rain.
  • Green cover jumps from 2.3% in August to 17.1% by December.
  • Rainfall reaches 200mm in some areas.
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Thanks to the rainy season, the Makkah region’s vegetated areas increased by more than 600% over the previous five months, according to Saudi Arabia’s National Center for Vegetation Development and Combating Desertification. There were areas where 200 millimeters of rain fell overall.

The overall area covered by vegetation in the region in August was 3,529.4 square kilometers, or 2.3 percent, according to analyses of remote-sensing data. Rainfall caused this to progressively rise, reaching 26,256 square kilometers by year’s end.

Up to 17.1% of the area was covered with vegetation by December. With elevations ranging from 500 to 2,600 meters, it was mostly found in the mountainous regions and highlands that run parallel to the shore of the Red Sea in the governorates of Makkah, Taif, Al-Laith, Al-Jammoum, Al-Kamil, and Khalis.

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In order to support the objectives of afforestation projects and the Saudi Green Initiative, the center said it is researching the state of these vegetation-covered areas, tracking changes in afforestation project sites, measuring changes in land-cover, estimating rainfall amounts and vegetation density, and evaluating plant health using remote-sensing techniques and artificial intelligence technology.

As part of the National Transformation Program’s initiatives to support the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 development and diversification agenda, the center develops strategies to prepare for and mitigate the severity of droughts, studies the variables that affect green spaces, and works to protect vegetation sites in the Kingdom. It functions within the framework of national initiatives to protect land, pastures, forests, and national parks from the effects of drought and desertification.

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