- As global temperatures and sea levels rise, some of the world’s major cities could experience unbearable living conditions.
- Cities like Chicago and Delhi have already endured fatal heat waves, which could get worse in the future.
- While climate scientists don’t anticipate any location to become fully uninhabitable, they worry that some areas will struggle to support human life.
As scientific projections of the impacts of climate change become more robust, the threats of extreme storms, catastrophic flooding, heatwaves, and droughts have gotten clearer and more frightening.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that global temperatures could rise 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels — the threshold for severe effects of climate change — by 2040. By the turn of the century, temperatures could climb even higher, spelling disaster in some areas.
In the future, cities that are prone to flooding or heat waves could see more severe, and potentially fatal, weather conditions. With this in mind, scientists have begun to pinpoint locations that could become unbearable for humans by the turn of the century.
The following 10 cities might soon struggle to support human life. And for the most part, these areas are already witnessing the devastating effects of climate change.
More than than 3.3 million Miami residents could face catastrophic flooding by 2100.
In a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, scientist Mathew Hauer looked at the risk of sea-level rise in the continental US.
From 2010 to 2100, he found, more than 13 million people could be exposed to 6 feet worth of sea-level rise. Of those residents, about a quarter are in Miami-Dade and Broward counties in Florida.
In the face of this catastrophic scenario, Hauer told Business Insider, Miami might not be able to adequately prepare.
„I’m 6 feet tall,“ he said. „It’s water level as high as I am.“
New Orleans could be underwater as well.
Hauer’s study also cited New Orleans as one of the US cities most vulnerable to flooding.
If sea levels were to rise by just 3 feet, more than 100,000 New Orleans residents — about a third of the city’s population — could be inundated.
„When you start tacking on storm surges, tidal flooding, all those other associated events, the [affected populations] get much larger,“ Hauer said.
Chicago could see another fatal heat wave at any moment.
Chicago is located in one of America’s most severe heat zones, according to Richard Rood, a climate scientist at the University of Michigan.
In 1995, the city witnessed a dangerous heat wave that killed more than 700 people. At that time, outside temperatures reached 106 degrees Fahrenheit, while wet-bulb temperatures — which account for both heat and humidity — reached 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Studies have shown that exposure to a wet-bulb temperature of more than 95 degrees Fahrenheit can be fatal, since the human body can no longer cool itself.
Rood said a heat wave of this magnitude could happen again at any time in Chicago, which sees high humidity in the summer and regular continental heat.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Source: Business insider