More than a week ago, 175 countries gathered in New York City to sign the Paris Climate agreement.
Part of this contract aims to “avoid catastrophic climate change by limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius – 2 degrees Celsius,” according to the Guardian. The agreement isn’t fully operational yet as the treaty requires the official approval of 55 countries who emit an estimated 55 percent of global emissions.
However, the results of a new study emphasize why countries all over the world may need to come up with stronger plans to combat global warming.
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and the Cyprus Institute have determined that North Africa and the Middle East could become uninhabitable by mid-century as global temperatures rise.
The results revealed that summers in both the North Africa and Middle East regions would prove to be unbearable due to a two-fold increase that will occur faster than anywhere else in the world. Measurements could read 114 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit during the day by mid-century. Plus, heat waves would happen 10 times more frequently and last much longer than they do now.
A team led by Max Planck atmospheric researcher Johaness Lelieveld, Ph.D., conducted its research by initially comparing climate data from 1986 to 2005 alongside predictions from a total of 26 climate models within the same time period. This information corresponded well allowing the scientists to use models to forecast climate conditions between 2046 and 2065 and 2081 to 2100.
Projections were based on two potential scenarios, explained the official announcement. The first, named RCP4.5, hinged upon global greenhouse gas emissions being reduced by 2040 to reach the estimated global warming target set by the U.N. The second scenario, known as RCP8.5, is based on the idea that greenhouse gas emissions will continue unabated.
In addition, an uptick in air pollution and sandstorms will rise due to prolonged droughts caused by climate change.
“In [the] future, the climate in large parts of the Middle East and North Africa could change in such a manner that the very existence of its inhabitants is in jeopardy,” said Lelieveld, director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and professor at the Cyprus Institute, in a statement.
Ultimately, this paints a potentially apocalyptic picture in which the more than 500 million residents living in the Middle East and North Africa would need to move away from this hostile terrain.
The study was published in the journal Climactic Change.
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