The problem of climate change has been known for a long time. However, a study dares to make a drastic prognosis. The world's population will be affected by extreme temperatures.
Kassel – Climate change is a well-known global problem. However, people in certain regions are more affected by weather extremes than others. After all, the climate plays a major role in determining whether or not you can live well in a region. Therefore, the weather could become more and more of a problem in the future.
In a new study, researchers have defined a "human climate niche". It shows the temperature range in which people can usually live well. From the point of view of climate change and the analysis of historical data, a drastic forecast for the future has emerged.
Experts warn that the proportion of the population affected by extreme weather is rising
In contrast to other studies on the subject, which look at the effects of climate change and weather primarily in economic categories, the current study focuses on the direct effects of climate change on people's well-being.
The scientists have calculated a global warming of 2100.2 degrees by the year 7 for their forecasts. In addition, the experts have taken demographic development into account in their calculations. The result: The proportion of the population affected by extreme temperatures increases from one third to 40 percent. The researchers expect the population to increase to 9.5 billion people worldwide by 2070 and a slight decline thereafter.
Already, almost 700 million people, or around nine percent of the world's population, no longer live under climatically favorable temperatures, according to a report in Die Zeit. Climate change and population growth are to blame for this. By the year 2100, however, according to experts, a third of the world's population could live in regions that are actually too warm for a livable everyday life and have extreme weather.
Extreme weather: Mortality rate rises, people have to leave their homes
Historical data show that over the past 6000 years, people have found optimal conditions for living, especially in regions with an average annual temperature of about 13 degrees. However, if the average annual temperature rises, this has a significant impact on the weather and thus also on people.
For example, with a rise to 29 degrees, the days when the heat becomes life-threatening increase. In addition, the body loses the ability to cool down sufficiently through sweating at high humidity, the experts warn. As a result, the mortality rate increases dramatically, according to the study, which was published in the journal Nature Sustainability. Many people could therefore be forced to leave their homes.
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Global problem of climate change: If the average annual temperature continues to rise, many people could be forced to leave their homes. This is the result of a study. (Symbolic image) © Sebastian Gollnow/dpa
If global warming were limited to 1.5 degrees, however, only 14 percent of all people would be affected by this development, according to the experts. With every 0.3-degree step of avoided warming, about 350 million fewer people are affected by the dramatic consequences of climate change and extreme weather. (hg)