It was considered that the establishment of a hot and humid climate in the tropics and subtropics, which will undermine in these regions, economy and exceed the physiological limits of survival and will happen when you save a heating planet, just the end of the century. The scientists were wrong — a new study says that these changes have already begun, and at once in all continents, writes “Tech+”.
According to the study, researchers from Columbia University, an unprecedented heat and humidity are already becoming a reality in many places in Asia, Africa, Australia, South and North America, including the Gulf coast. Along the Persian Gulf, they recorded a few brief flashes, exceeding the theoretical threshold of human survival. While such cases occur in a limited area and last for several hours, but their frequency and intensity are increasing.
“Past research has predicted that this will happen in a few decades, but our shows that this is already happening, — said project leader Colin Raymond. — The duration of the event increases, and the area of impact increases in direct conformity with global warming.”
Humidity is dangerous to humans, because it hampers the natural process of cooling the body through sweat. Dry hot air evaporates moisture from the body, lowering her temperature, but if the air is so humid, evaporation slows and may even stop. In this case, the body heats up above the threshold of survival, and internal organs begin to shut down. Even physically fit people, being in the shade and having enough drinking water at their disposal, might die in a few hours.
First analyzed the hourly data of weather stations from 1979 to 2017 (previously this approach one does not use — use the average for the 6-hour or 12-hour intervals), the researchers found that the combination of high temperature and humidity for the study period has doubled. Multiple incidents occurred in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, North-West Australia, along the coast of the red sea and the Gulf of Mexico and in various parts of Southeast Asia, southern China, subtropical Africa and the Caribbean.
Potentially fatal figures 14 times recorded in three cities in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE — Damman, Doha and RAS al Khaimah, — with a population of over 3 million people.
The incidents occur mainly on the banks of rivers, lakes or bays where evaporation increases the humidity. In some regions, located in the heart of the continent, the monsoons bring humidity, or irrigation channels. The most danger-prone poor countries, where the inhabitants there are not only conditioning but also the electricity, and to sustain life they are forced to work under the open sky. Increase in the cases of unbearable heat will sooner or later destroy their economy.
“Many areas of the Earth were much closer than expected to achieve sustained unbearable heat. Previously it was thought that we have a much greater margin of safety”, — commented the results of the study, Steven Sherwood, a climate scientist from the Australian University of New South Wales.