South Asia faces a hot, humid and uninhabitable future
Scientists predict if climate change continues on its current trajectory, heat waves will cause the temperatures to rise to deadly levels in parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
WASHINGTON — Climate change will make parts of South Asia too hot to live in by the end of the century, threatening the lives of millions of the world's poorest people.
Densely populated agricultural regions of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will experience increases in heat and humidity that will make them uninhabitable by the year 2100, according to a study published in Science Advances.
Scientists predict that if climate change continues on its current trajectory, heat waves will cause the wet-bulb temperature to rise to deadly levels.
Wet-bulb temperature is calculated by combining temperature, humidity, wind speed, sun angle, and cloud cover to measure heat stress in direct sunlight.
The study said that by the year 2100, 75 percent of South Asia's population would experience wet-bulb temperatures higher than 31 degrees Celsius, which is dangerous for humans.
In this scenario, 4 percent of the population would experience deadly wet-bulb temperatures exceeding 35 degrees.
South Asia is home to one fifth of the world's population and has high levels of poverty. In 2015, more than 3,500 people were killed in heat waves in the region.
The scientists said the poor will feel the brunt of rising temperatures because they lack access to air conditioning and other methods to beat the heat.
Cutting greenhouse gas emissions would help lower the impact of climate change on the poor, the researchers added, according to CBC News.
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