Nearly three-quarters of the world’s population will live in zones with constant heat waves and abnormally high summer temperatures by the beginning of the next century, scientists say in an article published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
“The list of possible scenarios in the future is constantly decreasing.With the waves of heat, now we have a choice between horrible and very terrible scenarios.Many people are already dying from such periods of anomalous heat, and even combating climate change will not save us From the fact that the number of their victims in the future will only grow, “- says Camilo Mora (Camilo Mora) from the University of Hawaii in Manoa (USA).
One of the consequences of global warming is the so-called “extreme weather phenomena” – periods of abnormal heat in winter or cold in summer, heat waves, weekly heavy rains, droughts and other phenomena associated with “wrong” weather. For example, the flood in Krymsk in 2012 and the summer heat in Russia in 2010 are among the most striking examples.
As Academician Igor Mokhov noted in an interview with RIA Novosti, the frequency of such events in the future will only grow as the global warming progresses, and they will cover all the larger territories. This will lead, as calculations of Western climatologists show, to a sharp increase in mortality – every “extra” degree of heat in the summer will increase the number of dead people by 5%.
Mora and his colleagues decided to find out how the situation with the heatwaves will change by 2100, if humanity completely abandons all measures to curb global warming, and what will happen if they are fully implemented.
To do this, scientists analyzed all cases of abnormally high temperatures in the summer, recorded on all continents since 1980, and identified those regions where heat waves caused death. In total, they managed to find more than 1900 points, where similar things have already happened, and used these data to make forecasts for the next century.
Calculations showed that over 74% of the planet’s population by 2100 will be in zones where every second summer will be dominated not only by high temperatures, but also by a high level of humidity that prevents the human body from cooling by evaporation of sweat.
In some cities, such as New York and Moscow, periods of anomalous heat will last about 50 days. Even more affected are the tropical and equatorial regions, where the abnormal heat will be virtually constant throughout the year. The territory of India, Brazil and Southeast Asia will become unsuitable for human habitation by the end of the century.
Accordingly, the death rate from heat strokes, heart attacks and other consequences of overheating of the body will increase dramatically if the world’s leading states completely abandon the implementation of the Paris agreements and other measures to combat global warming.
On the other hand, the implementation of all these measures, as recognized by Mora and his colleagues, does not eliminate, but only a few will slow the expansion of the zone of “anomalous heat”. As calculations of scientists show, in this case, periods of high air temperature will affect about 48% of the Earth’s population and about 25% of its territory.
Therefore, concludes Mora, humanity is already now to begin to prepare for the fact that summer heat will be as big a threat to life as winter frosts.