Deadly Heat

Deadly heat refers to hot temperatures beyond human tolerance. It is projected to affect major urban areas  around the world throughout the 21st century due to the increased intensity of the “heat island effect”, which makes cities 10-15 °C hotter than surrounding areas, and more so without the proper adaptation AdaptationPrecautionary and timely measures taken to address existing or potential impacts of the climate disasterRead on اقرأ المزيد infrastructure.

The threshold for human survivability is based on wet bulb temperature (TW), which accounts for both air temperature and humidity.

Prolonged exposure to heat is lethal at TW > 35 °C because bodily heat can no longer be dissipated by sweating beyond that point. Fatalities due to the physiological effects of heat can happen in several ways, even among the young and healthy.

The world has been experiencing extremely high temperatures, with July 2023 bringing the hottest day on record. Mortality rates due to heat-related issues have been on the rise, especially in urban areas, due to global heating Global HeatingThe increase in average global temperatures, which has been primarily driven by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions since the start of…Read on اقرأ المزيد .

Deadly heat in the 21st century

As our planet approaches the 1.5°C and 2°C thresholds, deadly heat is expected to become the new normal.  Around 30% of the world’s population is currently experiencing heat beyond the deadly threshold for at least 20 days a year. Unless GHG emissions are dramatically reduced, this percentage could get as high as 74% within the next few decades.

As of 2023, the Earth’s temperature has already warmed 1.15°C above pre-industrial levels. Furthermore, exposure to extreme heat has already increased in urban areas by 23% since 1979. As a result, heat waves Heat WavesHeat waves are among the deadliest natural hazards. Since 2015, temperatures have been the highest on record, meaning that the…Read on اقرأ المزيد have recorded huge casualties over the past few years. In summer 2022, a heatwave reportedly killed 60,000 people in Europe alone.

Impacts of deadly heat on the MENA region

The MENA region in particular is one of the most climate-vulnerable regions. By the end of the century, average temperatures in the region could rise by 5°C. As a result, heat-related deaths could rise to 123.4 per 100,000 people, compared to 2.1 per 100,000 people in 2023. Temperatures around the Arabian Gulf are expected to the critical threshold of TW 35 °C several times in the period 2071-2100, potentially making large swathes of the region uninhabitable.

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