WASHINGTON – By the end of the 21st century, parts of the Persian Gulf will often be too hot for the human body if carbon dioxide emissions continue at their current pace, according to MIT research.
The consequences of climate change and global warming seem overstated, but considering the actual possibility of an endless heatstroke has become very feasible. So much so that some parts of the Persian Gulf may reach temperatures up to 77 degrees Celsius, or 170 degrees Fahrenheit at the end of the century.
The research held by MIT investigators consisted in creating a simulation based on an ensemble of a high-resolution regional climate model. As a result, the study concluded that those conditions are most likely to be intolerable.
However, because humankind hasn’t lived through those conditions, the exact consequences aren’t tangible. Dr. Howard Frumkin, dean of the University of Washington school of public health stated that “when the ambient temperatures are extremely high, as projected in this paper, then exposed people can and do die. The implication s of this paper for the Gulf region are frightening.”
The researchers compared the predicted heat waves with that felt through Europe in 2003, which caused more than 70,000 deaths. One of the authors, Jeremy Pal from Loyola Marymount University, came to the conclusion that the 2003 tragedy would “look like a refreshing day or event”.
Although the heat waves would be rare, cities with high-income citizens, such as Abu Dhabi, Doha and Dubai, would still be inhabitable due to air conditioning. However, the heat would be intolerable for people with no air conditioning, or those who live and work outdoors.
The Hajj, the annual pilgrimage that draws millions of Muslims to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, could “become hazardous to human health” given that it occurs during the summer, especially for elderly or unfit travelers. Elfatih Eltahir, an MIT environmental engineering professor, stated that while Mecca won’t be quite as hot, the heat will likely still cause many deaths during the annual pilgrimage.
Source: NYSE Post