Uninhabitable by Heat — It’s Not Just Sudan, Parts From North
Africa to the Middle East are Under the Gun
Africa is already hot and is strongly increasing in temperature. At
some point in this century, part of the region will become
uninhabitable.” — Dr.
number of climate refugees could increase dramatically in future.
Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and the Cyprus
Institute in Nicosia have calculated that the Middle East and North
Africa could become so hot that human habitability is
Due to human-caused warming, these kinds of events are already happening in places like Sudan with increasing frequency. Anda recent report by CNN shows that this North African state is under threat of becoming uninhabitable to human beings due to climate change.
so hot that it’s impossible to perform any activity outdoors
without threat of injury or worse. Raging dust storms that make the
very air unbreathable. Massive
droughts that wreck agricultural productivity and
Sections of Africa and the Middle East are currently getting a taste
of these new, dangerous climate conditions. But their frequency could
increase by five fold or more over the next 30-40 years —
threatening harm, government collapse, and the forced dislocation of
Could be Made Uninhabitable by Climate Change
Sudan, the problems are just beginning. By mid-Century
in the region could warm by between 1.1 and 3.1 degrees Celsius.
And so much additional warming will multiply the occurrence of the
kinds of harmful heatwaves, droughts, and dust storms that are
happening today many times over. In the end, Sudan is at risk of
being abandoned as its lands are taken in by a climate unfit for
Million People Under Extreme Heat and Drought in Africa and Middle
East by mid-Century
are set to rise to extreme levels across Africa and the Middle East
due to fossil fuel burning and related Earth System warming. The
impacts produce a high risk for mass migration away from these
regions as hothouse conditions take hold. Image source:The
Sudan, more than 500 million people live in this region.
to the Max-Planck Institute,
extremely hot days — of which there were 16 each year within this
vulnerable area from 1986 to 2005 — will increase five-fold to 80
by 2050 and up to 118 to 200 by 2100.
extraordinary and persistent heat will bake moisture out of soils,
ruin forests, and advance deserts. It will produce days when wet bulb
temperatures approach or exceed the limit of human endurance (35 C)
time and time again. Such a high prevalence and intensity of adverse
conditions will make the current problems faced by the region seem
mild and moderate by comparison. In the end, numerous places are
likely to become basically unlivable.
the coming hardship and what is likely to be a preventable mass
migration, scientists and environmentalists are calling for
action. CNN and
others have highlighted a need for aid to Africa and the Middle East.
But as helpful as aid is to those desperate and struggling to
survive, the primary driver of the whole problem is human-based
fossil fuel emissions. And unless that stops, this region and its
highly vulnerable peoples, among others around the world, will be
very hard hit.