Study Predicts Persian Gulf Temperature To Reach Intolerable Levels

Posted: Oct 27 2015, 4:00am CDT | by , Updated: Oct 27 2015, 9:10pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

Study Predicts Persian Gulf Temperature Too Hot for Humans
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Killer heat waves could push temperatures to extreme levels by 2100.

The Persian Gulf may experience a deadly wave of heat by the end of the century.

A new report forecasts that the temperature of a few parts of Middle East may exceed to that level which could be intolerable and threatens human life.

The extreme heat wave will be the result of the ‘business as usual’ scenario of green house gas emissions which is projected to push temperatures of the region to lethal extremes.

Researchers measured the deadly heat condition with wet-bulb temperature. A human body may be able to adapt to the extremes of dry-bulb temperature or simple heat. Evaporation and ventilation can reduce the temperature of the body. But a wet-bulb temperature, which combines both heat and humidity, will not allow a person who is drenched in sweat to cool off. The temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit or 35 degree Celsius “would probably be intolerable even for the fittest of humans, resulting in hyperthermia” or having body temperature exceedingly above normal after six hours of exposure.

Co-author Elfatih Eltahir, an MIT environmental engineering professor, explains the condition in this manner:

"You can go to a wet sauna and put the temperature up to 35 (Celsius or 95 degrees Fahrenheit) or so. You can bear it for a while, now think of that at an extended exposure.”

Even today heat waves cause premature deaths of thousands of people across the world like the heat wave in Europe that killed more than 70,000 people in 2003.

Thanks to powerful air conditioning, the cities of the Middle East like Doha, Dubai and Abu-Dhabi may not be severely uninhabitable from inside but survival will be difficult for those who work outside or live without air conditioners.

Many previous studies suggest that this kind of temperature may take 200 years but new climate models indicate that it may take place a lot sooner than that.

The study was published in Nature.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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