Former US Vice President Al Gore delivering a keynote address on "Future of our world and the existential threat posed by climate change" at Global Education & Skills Forum 2018 in Dubai on Sunday. Photo: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Bizarre weather such as “flying rivers” and “rain bombs” are just some of the recent effects of climate change, warned former US vice-president Al Gore at the Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) in Dubai on Sunday.

Gore, who is the founder and chairman of The Climate Reality Project, a non-profit establishment “devoted to solving the climate crisis”, told GESF delegates global weather is becoming “extreme” and “disruptive”, mainly because of global warming.

Gore said we are using the atmosphere as an “open sewer” for “heat trapping” emissions from burning fossil fuels for our energy needs.

As a result, humidity has increased five per cent in 30 years — enough to trigger strange and destructive weather, he added.

He described flying or atmospheric rivers as long streams of rain-bearing clouds that carry huge amounts of water vapour over long distances, ending as heavy rain bombs over a small, concentrated area. Gore said a city in California was recently hit by such weather, with the ‘river’ in the air having flown thousands of kilometres from an area in the Pacific Ocean.

The higher humidity is also leading to droughts, Gore said, because the warmer air is able to suck up and hold more moisture from the soil and greenery. Combined with more lightening strikes — another climate change effect, he said — and drier vegetation, there are now more forest fires.

Gore also said climate change could make large parts of the Middle East uninhabitable, which would create “climate refugees”, who would clash with settled populations in cities.