A large part of the earth is under the cloud of rare or unprecedented extreme heat/humidity combinations, which was not witnessed earlier. Asia, Australia, Africa, North America including U.S, South America and the Gulf Coast region are under this cloud, according to a new study.
Earlier the scientists had predicted heat and humidity to reach higher levels later in the century. However, a new study has said that this phenomenon has already started. The climatic condition could shatter the economies and even could be a threat to human survival.
To support the study, the researchers said that they had come across thousands of previously rare or unprecedented bouts of heat and humidity in several; parts. They also found more than a dozen brief outbreaks surpassing the theoretical human survivability limit along Persian Gulf. The researchers pointed out that the condition was now confined to only certain areas and also lasted only a few hours. However, they said that the condition was increasing in frequency and intensity.
The researchers analysed weather conditions from 1979 to 2017. They found that extreme heat/humidity combinations doubled during the study period. They pointed out that repeated incidents appeared in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, northwestern Australia and along the coasts of Red Sea and Gulf of California, Mexico. They said that the condition was spotted at its intensity more times in Dhahran/Damman, Doha, and Ras Al Khaimah.
They also said that the South Eastern United States saw extreme conditions dozens of times, mainly near the Gulf Coast in east Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. The worst spots: New Orleans and Biloxi, Miss. Such conditions also reached inland into Arkansas and along the southeastern coastal plain. They noted that it was most seen on coastlines where evaporating of seawater provided abundant moisture to be sucked up by hot air. The researchers also noted that moisture-laden monsoon winds and crop irrigation in a wide area in the inlands also played a role in the climatic condition. .
Heat/humidity effect is measured on “wet bulb” Centigrade scale. And the readings are often translated into “heat index” or “real-feel” Fahrenheit readings. In the study, the researchers noted that wet-bulb readings doubled since 1979. The number of readings of 31 degrees (earlier believed to occur only rarely) totalled around 1,000. The readings of 33 (earlier almost nonexistent) — totalled around 80.
They said that a heat wave that struck the United States in July last was about 30 degrees on the wet bulb. The report also said the heat waves led to at least a half-dozen deaths.