The world’s increasing temperatures are causing a greater number of individuals to face hazardous heat levels annually. According to a recent report in Nature Sustainability, if no policy changes are implemented, global temperatures are projected to rise significantly by the end of this century. This could result in over 2 billion people residing in regions with life-threatening hot climates, as reported by Science Hub.
What’s currently occurring?
According to Science Hub, the global average temperature has increased by approximately 1.2 degrees Celsius (about 2 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels due to human activities. The Paris Agreement, an international treaty aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions, set a target to cap this increase at 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, a new study suggests that under current laws, population growth, and environmental conditions, the world is on track to exceed this target, with temperatures potentially rising by about 4.8 degrees Fahrenheit above preindustrial levels.
The researchers also examined which areas would be most impacted by such a temperature increase. They identified “unprecedented heat” zones as regions where the average yearly temperature, across all seasons, exceeds 84.2 degrees Fahrenheit.
Science Hub reported that four decades ago, only 12 million people worldwide lived in areas experiencing this extreme heat. Today, due to ongoing warming, approximately 60 million people are affected.
The study predicts that by the year 2100, a staggering 2 billion individuals, out of a projected global population of 9.5 billion, will reside in regions with average temperatures exceeding 84.2 degrees Fahrenheit. The countries most affected are expected to be those around the equator, including India, Nigeria, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Pakistan.
What is concerning about this heating situation?
As the Earth’s temperature continues to rise, we witness an increase in heatwaves, droughts, and wildfires. Scientific research, as reported by Science Hub, has also established connections between rising temperatures and various consequences, including heightened disease contagion, reduced labor productivity, and increased interpersonal conflicts.
Tim Lenton, the study’s author and the director of the Global Systems Institute at the University of Exeter, describes this as a significant transformation in the livability of our planet’s surface, potentially leading to widespread relocations of human populations.