Deadly heat waves could soon render large swaths of the Middle East uninhabitable for parts of the year within the next century, climate scientists warn.
Climate change will affect different regions of the world in different ways. Some will get wetter, some will get drier, and some will just get hotter. According to a report from CNN, a new study warns that certain parts of the Middle East may get so hot by the end of the century that it will be impossible for humans to live there.
The Middle East, particularly the countries around the Persian Gulf Coast, already relies heavily on fossil fuels for the majority of the region’s income. In an ironic twist of fate, manmade climate change threatens to render one of the most productive oilfields in the world unlivable.
The hot, arid desert region will face higher temperatures and more severe droughts during the summertime, climate scientists warm. The Persian Gulf already has some of the world’s most extreme temperatures, and the region would be the first on earth where it would be dangerous to be exposed to such high levels of heat.
The study examined the wet-bulb temperature in the region, or the measure that combines air temperature and humidity. As the temperature and the amount of moisture in the air increase, it becomes more difficult for our bodies to get rid of excess heat by sweating.
Using computer models, the study showed that greenhouse gas emissions will continue to drive up the temperature and humidity in the region significantly over the next 100 years. The current wet-bulb temperature is roughly 31 degrees Celsius, and never even comes close to 35. By 2100, wet-bulb temperatures in the region could easily reach 35 degrees Celsius, which would be deadly for humans.
In drier regions like Kuwait City, the actual air temperature could reach 60 degrees Celsius, or 140 degrees Fahrenheit.