Life-threatening heat waves could become more common in the future due to the climate crisis. The number of days people experience perceived “dangerous” temperatures in excess of 39°C portends a significant increase by 2050, especially in tropical and subtropical regions. The consequences will also be noticeable in Western Europe. This is according to the calculations of American scientists.
The research, led by Lucas Vargas Zeptillo of the University of Washington in Seattle, is published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment.
Scientists used the NWS heat index for the study. It uses a type of wind cooler that takes into account the effects of temperature and relative humidity on humans. from the cold wind 39.4°C The weather becomes on this heat indicator if “dangerous” It is considered, from 51.1 °C even if “Very dangerous.”
For future projections, the scientists themselves relied on climate models that take into account, among other things, the projections of population development and GDP of individual countries and territories. The amount of carbon dioxide was also taken into account2 emitted by different industries. On this basis, a favorable, unfavorable and average scenario were drawn up.
Even if the goals of the Paris climate agreement – limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius – are met – researchers project three to ten times the number of days of sunlight by 2100 in the United States, Western Europe, China and Japan. In similar periods between 1979 and 1998.
A quarter to a half days
In an average scenario — a three-degree increase in global mean temperature over pre-industrial times — in tropical and subtropical climates, the 39.4-degree threshold from 2050 would be in a quarter to half of all days. receipt.
In fact, by the turn of the century, in many tropical and subtropical regions, this will be the case most days. This will mainly affect sub-Saharan Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and India. Even the “extremely dangerous” heat index category will be reached more than 15 days a year in those regions.
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