From: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Published August 2, 2017 04:41 PM

Deadly heat waves could hit South Asia this century

In South Asia, a region of deep poverty where one-fifth of the world’s people live, new research suggests that by the end of this century climate change could lead to summer heat waves with levels of heat and humidity that exceed what humans can survive without protection.

There is still time to avert such severe warming if measures are implemented now to reduce the most dire consequences of global warming. However, under business-as-usual scenarios, without significant reductions in carbon emissions, the study shows these deadly heat waves could begin within as little as a few decades to strike regions of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, including the fertile Indus and Ganges river basins that produce much of the region’s food supply.

The new findings, based on detailed computer simulations using the best available global circulation models, are described this week in the journal Science Advances, in a paper by Elfatih Eltahir, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at MIT; Eun Soon Im, a former researcher at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology and now a professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; and Jeremy Pal, a professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Read more at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Image: A new study shows that without significant reductions in carbon emissions, deadly heat waves could begin within as little as a few decades to strike regions of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. This map shows the maximum wet-bulb temperatures (which combine temperature and humidity) that have been reached in this region since 1979. Courtesy of the researchers

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