Without Co2 emissions cut, unbearable heat for 1/3 population

ROME – Without a significant cut in greenhouse gas emissions, within 50 years, areas of the planet currently inhabited by one third of the world’s population will be as hot as the warmest areas of the Sahara desert and therefore 3.5 billion people will face unbearable weather conditions, according to a new study.

The most affected countries would be India and Nigeria, where an estimated 1.2 billion people and 485 inhabitants would experience exceptional heat, the research said. Over 100 million people would be affected both in Pakistan and in Indonesia and Sudan. Food production would also be affected, according to the study carried out by an international team of archaeologists, environmentalists and climatologists from universities in China, Europe and the United States, which was published by the magazine of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in the US. If emissions will continue to increase, researchers warned, the average temperature perceived by humans will rise by 7.5 degrees by 2070, well over the 3 degrees currently forecast.
This quick increase would bring 30% of the population worldwide to live in places with an average temperature exceeding 29 degrees Celsius, a climate condition currently only experimented on 0.8% of land surfaces, mainly in the Sahara, while it would concern 19% in 2070.
”The changes would occur less quickly than with the current pandemic from Covid-19 but would be more harmful because some areas of the planet would heat up to levels that are barely acceptable for human survival and would never get cooler”, said Marten Scheffern of the University of Wageningen, coordinator of the study together with Xu Chi of the University of Nanjing.

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