The new findings, based on detailed computer simulations using the best available global circulation models, are described this week in the journal Science Advances, in a paper by MIT professor of environmental engineering Elfatih Eltahir, MIT Research Scientist Eun Soon Im, and Professor Jeremy Pal at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
The new analysis is showing that hot weather’s most deadly effects for humans comes from a combination of high temperature and high humidity, an index which is measured by a reading known as wet-bulb temperature. This reflects the ability of moisture to evaporate, which is the mechanism required for the human body to maintain its internal temperature through the evaporation of sweat.
At a wet-bulb temperature of 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit), the human body cannot cool itself enough to survive more than a few hours.
The summer of 2015 also produced one of the deadliest heat waves in history in South Asia, killing an estimated 3,500 people in Pakistan and India.
In today’s climate, about 2 percent of the Indian population sometimes gets exposed to extremes of 32-degree wet-bulb temperatures. According to this study, by 2100 that will increase to about 70 percent of the population, and about 2 percent of the people will sometimes be exposed to the survivability limit of 35 degrees. And because the region is important agriculturally, it’s not just those directly affected by the heat who will suffer.
Eltahir says: “With the disruption to the agricultural production, it doesn’t need to be the heat wave itself that kills people. Production will go down, so potentially everyone will suffer.”
It’s the very right time to save our mother earth. Plant more trees.
Source- Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Credit- Science Advances and Sciencedaily.