Friday, 3 August 2018

Unrelenting Heat, Humidity Will Soon Make Regions UNINHABITABLE

Peaks Matter

3 August, 2018

When calculating how much warmer we can expect, climate models typically use linear projections based on temperature averages, such as annual global average temperatures, daily temperatures that are averages between day and night, etc. The problem is that this downplays the danger, as average temperatures are unlikely to kill people. When lives are at stake, peaks matter!

Local maximum temperatures can be good indicators for the maximum heat stress that can be expected in the area.

The image on the right shows that on August 2, 2018, the sea surface near Svalbard was 19.5°C or 67.1°F at the green circle, 14.1°C or 25.4°F warmer than 1981-2011.

This high sea surface temperature is an indicator of the temperature of the water below the surface, which in turn is an indicator of the amount of ocean heat that is entering the Arctic Ocean from the Atlantic Ocean.

Ocean heat is carried by the Gulf Stream from the coast of North America toward the Arctic Ocean, as illustrated by the image below.

Warming of the Arctic Ocean comes with the danger of methane releases from sediments that hold huge amounts of methane in the form of hydrates and free gas. 
The image above illustrates the danger, showing high methane levels at Barrow, Alaska, in July 2018.

When making projections of heat stress, it is important to look at all potential warming elements, including albedo changes, changes to jet streams and sea currents, higher levels of methane, high levels of water vapor, etc.

Next to temperature, humidity is of vital importance. A combination of high temperatures and high humidity is devastating.

recent study shows that the risk of deadly heat waves is significantly increased because of intensive irrigation in specific regions. The study points at a relatively dry but highly fertile region, known as the North China Plain — a region whose role in that country is comparable to that of the Midwest in the U.S. That increased vulnerability to heat arises because the irrigation exposes more water to evaporation, leading to higher humidity in the air than would otherwise be present and exacerbating the physiological stresses of the temperature.

The image below shows perceived temperature in China on July 27, 2018. 

Cyclones can increase humidity, making conditions worse. Above image shows two cyclones in the Pacific Ocean. The high sea surface temperature anomalies that are common in the East Pacific contribute to stronger cyclones carrying more moisture toward Asia.

There are further factors that can contribute to make specific areas virtually uninhabitable. The urban heat effect is such a factor. El NiƱo is another one. As temperatures keep rising, heat waves can be expected to intensify, while their duration can be extended due to jet stream blocking.

Paul Beckwith warns that parts of the world 'will soon be rendered uninhabitable'.

Video: Unrelenting Heat, Humidity Will Soon Make Regions UNINHABITABLE

Paul Beckwith"How hot can it actually get? What is in store for us? When you combine the heat domes sitting over many countries with high humidity, many areas around the planet will soon reach the deadly 35°C (95°F) 100% humidity (wet bulb temperature) or equivalent situation whereby a perfectly healthy person outside, in a well ventilated area, in the shade will die from the heat in 6 hours."
"Most people, like the very young, the elderly, and the rest of us won’t last anywhere as long, at even lower temperatures. I discuss the latest peer-reviewed science on how parts of high-risk regions in the North China Plains, Middle East, and South Asia will soon be rendered uninhabitable by combined heat and humidity."

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