Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Climate-Exodus Expected in the Middle East and North Africa

Unbearably hot: In the Middle East and North Africa, the average temperature in winter will rise by around 2.5 degrees Celsius (left) by the middle of the century, and in summer by around five degrees Celsius (right) if global greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase according to the business-as-usual scenario (RCP8,5). The cross-hatching indicates that the 26 climate models used are largely in agreement, and the dotting indicates an almost complete match. (Credit: Climatic Change / MPI for Chemistry) Click to Enlarge.
More than 500 million people live in the Middle East and North Africa -- a region which is very hot in summer and where climate change is already evident.  The number of extremely hot days has doubled since 1970.  "In future, the climate in large parts of the Middle East and North Africa could change in such a manner that the very existence of its inhabitants is in jeopardy," says Jos Lelieveld, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and Professor at the Cyprus Institute.

Lelieveld and his colleagues have investigated how temperatures will develop in the Middle East and North Africa over the course of the 21st century.  The result is deeply alarming:  Even if Earth's temperature were to increase on average only by two degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times, the temperature in summer in these regions will increase more than twofold.  By mid-century, during the warmest periods, temperatures will not fall below 30 degrees [Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit)at night [interferes with body temperature returning to normal], and during daytime they could rise to 46 degrees Celsius (approximately 114 degrees Fahrenheit).  By the end of the century, midday temperatures on hot days could even climb to 50 degrees Celsius (approximately 122 degrees Fahrenheit).  Another finding:  Heat waves could occur ten times more often than they do now.

[Between 105 and 130 F heat exhaustion is almost certain, and activities should be significantly limited.  An environmental temperature over 130 degrees F is likely to lead to heatstroke.]

Read more at Climate-Exodus Expected in the Middle East and North Africa

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