More recently, scientists believed that the establishment of a hot and humid climate that would affect the economy and exceed the limits of human physiological survival would occur only by the end of the century. However, they made a mistake. New data have been obtained that changes have already begun, to be more precise - on every continent at once.
Scientists from Columbia University (USA) say that high air temperature and humidity that exceed all previous standards are already becoming a reality in many places in Asia, Africa, Australia, South and North America, including the Gulf Coast. The researchers also recorded brief climate outbreaks along the Persian Gulf that exceed the theoretical threshold of human survival. Experts say that such cases of extreme changes in the environment are observed in limited territories so far. They last no more than a few hours, but their intensity is constantly increasing.
"Earlier studies have indicated that such climate change will occur in a few decades. However, now we see that all this is happening now. The duration of episodes is increasing, and the areas of impact are increasing in direct accordance with global warming, "- the head of the research project Colin Raymond pays attention.
Increased humidity is known to be dangerous to humans because it makes it difficult to cool the body naturally through sweat. Dry hot air vaporizes moisture from the body, lowering its temperature, but if the air is already wet, evaporation slows and may even stop. As a result, the human body heats above the survival threshold, and the internal organs begin to fail. Even a physically trained person сan die within hours, being in the shade and having enough drinking water.
Scientists analyzed hourly data of weather stations from 1979 to 2017 (before that no one used such an approach - average figures for 6-hour or 12-hour segments were used) and found that the combination of high temperature and humidity doubled during the study period. Such weather indicators have been observed in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, north-west Australia, along the Red Sea coast and Gulf of Mexico, and in various parts of Southeast Asia, southern China, subtropical Africa and the Caribbean.
In addition, critical indicators for human survival have been recorded at least 14 times in the million cities of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE.
Fatal climatic phenomena are most often observed on the banks of rivers, lakes or bays, where evaporation increases air humidity. To regions that are deep in the mainland such humidity brings monsoon or irrigation channels.
"We were previously thought to have a much bigger safety margin. However, now it has become clear that many regions of the planet have been much closer than expected to achieving sustained unbearable heat, "commented Stephen Sherwood, a climatologist at the Australian University of New South Wales, according to the results of the latest study.
As you know, 2019 was one of the hottest in human history. Thus, in July last year the average temperature was 0.95 ° C higher than the average temperature for the whole 20th century.
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