A groundbreaking study has warned that global warming will push billions of people outside the “climate niche” that has sustained humanity for centuries, exposing them to extreme temperatures and unprecedented weather events. The current trajectory of climate action plans is projected to result in a 2.7-degree Celsius increase in global temperatures. By 2030, an estimated 2 billion individuals will experience average annual temperatures above 29 degrees Celsius, a level that vexry few communities have historically endured.
The research suggests that up to 1 billion people may choose to migrate to cooler regions as a result. Although regions that remain within the climate niche will face more frequent heatwaves and droughts. Countries with large populations and already warm climates, such as India and Nigeria, will experience the most significant changes. India, in particular, is already grappling with extreme heat waves, with a recent study attributing over a third of heat-related deaths during summers from 1991 to 2018 to human-caused global heating.
However, the study of global warming underscores the potential for mitigating these impacts through rapid and substantial emission reductions. Limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius would considerably reduce the number of people outside the niche. For example, in India, 90 million people would experience average temperatures above 29 degrees Celsius compared to 600 million under a scenario of 2.7 degrees Celsius global temperature rise
The study’s findings highlight the stark inequality within the climate emergency, with low-emitting populations bearing the brunt of extreme heat exposure. Immediate measures, such as increasing green spaces in cities, offer practical solutions to adapt to high temperatures. Such interventions have the potential to reduce extreme temperatures by up to 5 degrees Celsius, providing shade and relief.
The study reinforces the urgency of addressing the climate crisis and emphasizes the profound consequences it will have on human well-being. Living outside the climate niche entails unbearable and potentially hazardous hot and humid conditions, leading to physical health issues, mental health challenges, increased crime rates, and social unrest. As the world faces these unprecedented challenges, concerted efforts are needed to transition to a sustainable and climate-resilient future.
Source : TheGuardian