Future temperature in southwest Asia projected to exceed a threshold for human adaptability


Title Future temperature in southwest Asia projected to exceed a threshold for human adaptability
Publication Type Manuscript
Year of Publication 2015
Authors Jeremy S. Pal and Elfatih A. B. Eltahir
Journal Nature Climate Change
Abstract

A human body may be able to adapt to extremes of dry-bulb temperature (commonly referred to as simply temperature) through perspiration and associated evaporative cooling provided that the wet-bulb temperature (a combined measure of temperature and humidity or degree of ‘mugginess) remains below a threshold of 35°C. (ref. 1). This threshold defines a limit of survivability for a fit human under well-ventilated outdoor conditions and is lower for most people. We project using an ensemble of high-resolution regional climate model simulations that extremes of wet-bulb temperature in the region around the Arabian Gulf are likely to approach and exceed this critical threshold under the business-as-usual scenario of future greenhouse gas concentrations. Our results expose a specific regional hotspot where climate change, in the absence of significant mitigation, is likely to severely impact human habitability in the future.

URL http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2833.html
DOI doi:10.1038/nclimate2833
File:
nclimate2833.pdf
Relevant Projects:
Regional Climate Modeling over Semi-Arid Regions
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