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Study: Global warming to place billions in "near-unliveable" heat

Study: Global warming to place...
A study forecasting global temperatures as a result of climate change has projected that billions will be made to endure "nearly unliveable" heat
A study forecasting global temperatures as a result of climate change has projected that billions will be made to endure "nearly unliveable" heat
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A study forecasting global temperatures as a result of climate change has projected that billions will be made to endure "nearly unliveable" heat
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A study forecasting global temperatures as a result of climate change has projected that billions will be made to endure "nearly unliveable" heat

Climate change stands to reshape the world in all kinds of ways, and one of the most profound will be the impact of warmer temperatures on the human population. An international team of researchers casting an eye towards this future has published a study detailing a grim outlook for billions of people, with rapidly rising temperatures to leave them outside the “climate niche” where humans have thrived for thousands of years.

A lot of reports that investigate the oncoming effects of climate change do so with an 2 °C (3.6 °F) or 3 °C (5.4 °F) temperature increase in mind and project how such jumps in global average temperatures over pre-industrial levels could impact the world’s ecosystems, from the oceans to the mountains, and everything in between.

The new study, carried out by an international team of scientists, looks at temperatures the average human can expect to endure if greenhouse gas emissions aren't reined in. The researchers began by analyzing where we have spent most of our time for thousands of years previous, finding that the human population has mostly resided in narrow climate bands. The majority live in regions with average annual temperatures of 11-15 °C (52-59 °F), while a smaller amount inhabit regions of 20-25 °C (68-77 °F).

“This strikingly constant climate niche likely represents fundamental constraints on what humans need to survive and thrive,” says Professor Marten Scheffer of Wageningen University.

The team calculates that the average person can expect a temperature increase of 7.5 °C (13.5 °F) by 2070, much higher than the expected global average of just over 3 °C because land warms more quickly than the oceans and population growth is higher in already warm places. This, combined with projected changes in global population, would place 30 percent of the world’s people in places with average temperature of more than 29 °C (84.2 °F).

These conditions exist on Earth today, but only in inhospitable places like the hottest parts of the Sahara desert, and make up just 0.8 percent of the global land surface. According to the team’s projections, by 2070 this could balloon to cover 19 percent of the global land surface if emissions aren't cut.

“This would bring 3.5 billion people into near-unliveable conditions,” says Jens-Christian Svenning from Aarhus University, a co-author of the study.

While painting a dire picture for around a third of the global population, the researchers hope their findings can also offer some clear direction around the benefits of taking decisive action on climate change.

“The good news is that these impacts can be greatly reduced if humanity succeeds in curbing global warming,” says study co-author Tim Lenton, climate specialist at the University of Exeter. “Our computations show that each degree warming above present levels corresponds to roughly one billion people falling outside of the climate niche. It is important that we can now express the benefits of curbing greenhouse gas emissions in something more human than just monetary terms.”

The research was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Source: Wageningen University

20 comments
DreadUK
A lot of BS. What's causing this warming? Mankind? As there has never been, in the course of human civilisation, a successful, empirical, repeatable scientific study which demonstrates atmospheric CO2 causes the planet to warm (far less mankind's puny contribution) there must be something else causing this fantasy to manifest itself. But they don't say what. The last to attempt to demonstrate atmospheric CO2 causes the planet to warm was Berkeley Earth, and they failed miserable when the data is interrogated.
Si77
These computer models are not science. They are just more alarmist propaganda.
Nobody
I hate to say this but I have been enjoying the recent break from global warming propaganda. It seems that a rogue tiny virus will do us in first.
paul314
This is another confirmation of a result that came out a couple years ago when projected temperature/humidity maps under global warming came out. People really can't work outside or live without air conditioning when the it gets hot and humid enough that sweat doesn't evaporate. So what happens when a billion-plus people decide that the places they currently live won't support a decent life any more? That's a lot of folks moving to more temperate climes, and there's bound to be some friction between those folks and the ones who already live in the temperate areas.
Worzel
As the planet has been in an ever deepening Ice Age for the last 40 million years or so, and, as climate change caused by CO2 has never happened in the last 600 million years, even when CO2 was 7000 ppm or 17 times the present tiny level of 400 ppm, of which human input is about 10% any rumours of CO2 produced ''Global Warming'' can be ignored as ridiculous myths/misinformation. In addition, this inter glacial period is due to end in the near future, and one of the characteristics of a returning glacial period is, that the climate first gets warmer. From data gleaned from the last million years of climate records from deep sea and lake core drillings, or 10 glacial periods, the change has previously occurred in as little as 20-50 years. So, rather that worrying, and scare mongering about minor warming, the pundits should be more concerned with major long term cooling. The present climate temperature and CO2 level is the lowest it has been for 270 million years since the Permian extinction, and is probably the main reason for the present extinction rate, due to slow habit regeneration.
Bill S.
I live in Las Vegas, it is hot here all the time and I love it. Bring it on.
zr2s10
Meanwhile, a large driver of the rising temps is from these areas, with everyone cranking up the A/C to deal with the heat. That is one of the largest consumers of personal electric use. Regardless of whether you believe in climate change or not, we need to push for more renewable and environmentally friendly energy sources. Create jobs in these sectors to help people displaced from other areas of energy generation. And people living in the areas effected in this study? Well, if it happens, they'll just either adapt, or move north to avoid the heat. Just like mankind has done over millennia, although perhaps more rapidly than other times.
MikeDalton
In 2011 Dallas had 66 consecutive days at or above 100 degrees F. About 30 years before that, in 1980 Dallas had 69 consecutive at or above 100 degrees F. More than two solid months like that is long enough to imagine what permanent hot feels like. And of course, there are much hotter places on the planet where people live. And thrive. Is an 84.2 degree average really catastrophic and un-survivable? If, in fact, it would really happen. Keep in mind how many decades these models have been completely wrong.
guzmanchinky
What we need is less people, and then there will be plenty of room in cooler areas further north and south...
Pablo
The sky is falling... again. Mankind (humankind?) has since the dawn of history, believed that nearly everything that befalls us is brought upon us because of our sins. Will it ever dawn upon us that we live in a universe that neither knows or cares that we even exist, we're just riding along with every other organism on the planet. The sun causes more change in our climate with a change in output lasting a few hours than we could possibly do in a year. Climate models have been gerrymandered to suit whoever's paying for them, just like our current issue with Covid-19. Models just don't work, nature doesn't follow them. Simple as that...