In South Asia, humid heat expected to surpass fatal levels by the late 21st century

From Eurekalert

Public Release: 2-Aug-2017

Deadly heat waves projected in the densely populated agricultural regions of South Asia

American Association for the Advancement of Science

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Hot and humid temperatures in South Asia, which contains one-fifth of the global population, will exceed the upper limit of human survivability by the late 21st century, scientists project, underscoring an urgent need to adopt alternative strategies on top of those currently proposed to alleviate climate change-induced temperature extremes. In 2015, the fifth deadliest heat wave in recorded history affected large parts of India and Pakistan, claiming around 3,500 lives. Many studies in South Asia have charted the trajectory of heat waves linked to climate change and their impact on human health; however, the forecast of “wet-bulb temperature,” or a measure of temperature, humidity and the human body’s ability to cool down in response, is not yet clear. After running high-resolution simulations under two climate scenarios, Eun-Soon Im and colleagues reveal wet-bulb temperatures are projected to approach the survivability threshold (35 degrees Celsius) over most of South Asia, and exceed it at a few locations, by the end of the century under a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario, while reaching dangerous levels (over 31 Celsius) under a mitigation scenario (roughly comparable to the goals pledged by the 2015 UN Conference on Climate Change). The authors also found that the population exposed to harmful wet-bulb temperatures will increase from zero in the present day to about 30% under BAU versus only 2% under the mitigation timeline – a substantial difference that points to the significant impact of climate change mitigation efforts. The increase in humid heat raises important questions of environmental justice in agricultural areas where the inhabitants – the majority of whom work outdoors and have poor access to air conditioning – are most vulnerable, the authors say.

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174 thoughts on “In South Asia, humid heat expected to surpass fatal levels by the late 21st century

  1. Sounds dangerous. Luckily we never get wet-bulb temperatures of 35 degrees Celsius here on the Texas gulf coast.

    • Luckily I wasn’t drinking anything when I read your post. What’s the usual summer forecast in those parts; “99/99” as I recall?

    • In Thailand during the hot season (March–May), it’s probably averages 38 C and there are days when it’s 43-44 c. Too hot to drink beer, you need to progress to cocktails :) Today, it’s raining and only 31 C but if I’m going to die, well that’s a good excuse to start drinking early. After all, it is Friday :)

      • Paul, I know the difference between wet bulb temperatures and dry bulb temperatures and dew points. My post was not about that or did you not understand?

      • Paul, wet bulb is just heat index. I work outside in San Antonio, TX and face a daily heat index of 35+c five months out of the year, every year. Three months out of the year, it’s 40c or more. Yet here I am, not in a grave.

      • I was loading in a show a couple of weeks back – doing actual physical labor in a non-airconditioned room. Outside temp was 98 F with high humidity, and it was at least 90 F indoors. Conservative heat index was a solid 113 F, or 45 C. I didn’t drink enough water, so I started feeling bad by the middle of the day, but I didn’t die. At least, I don’t remember dying.

      • I will always maintain that this entire “heat index” fad came about because weathermen in Texas and the rest of the Gulf Coast were jealous of all their northern cousins who promoted “wind chill” all winter long. “Oh, yeah, it’s cold here, but here’s this new number, it’s REALLY cold now!!! ”

        So the gulf coast weathermen felt left out, their brethren in the cold weather states were having all the fun, so they found a way now, every summer, to go on the air and say “Oh yeah, you think it’s hot! Well it’s REALLY hot, just look at this new number!” And they’ve been going to town with it ever since.

        I was listening to a forecast the other day, and our weatherman was saying “yeah, it’s 94, but the Heat Index is 101! So it feels like 101!!”

        And I was thinking “no it doesn’t you dolt. Today is just average humidity here. It’s 94 degrees. This is what 94 degrees feels like, this is what 94 degrees here has ALWAYS felt like. I’ve been in 100 degree temperatures lots of times, and 94 does NOT feel like 101 – ever!”

        oh well that’s my weather rant for the day.

      • @wws

        The heat index is intended as a measure of the stress be placed on the human body. I was in Phoenix many years ago and toured the Cactus Gardens. Temperature must have been 102 or so, but i wasn’t sweating. Got back to the car, wiped my forehead and broke away a rime of salt from under the edge of my hat. The sweat was evaporating before it could run down my face. It was very effectively cooling my body. The humidity according to the local weather report was about 12%, so the heat index was lower than the actual temperature. Here in NJ, when the outside temperature is 85 and the RH is at 80%, the sweat rolls off your body and hardly cools you at all because the air can’t soak up the water. The baseline RH for the heat index is 20%.

      • Chad Irby, you don’t remember dying because this is all just a figment of your imagination, homosapiens never survived past the last interglacial period when temperatures were higher than today, everything since then has been the dream of a sea turtle that did survive.

      • mkuske said: “Paul, wet bulb is just heat index.”

        No, it is not. The heat index will generally be a few degrees higher than the dry bulb temperature, or “regular” temperature taken with a thermometer in the shade. The wet bulb temperature will always be lower than the dry bulb temperature. In a humid climate, wet bulb will be 3-7C degrees cooler than dry bulb, in a drier climate 10-15C cooler.

      • Heat index is for sissies. It’s the southerner’s envious counterpart to the wind chill factor, which to anyone from North Dakota is also for sissies.
        That said, there’s a place in Mexico that’s actually more humid than Houston.

    • This reminds me of the study I saw a few years back (can’t find it online now, maybe it was disappeared due to embarrassment) which claimed to prove an increased death rate from “global warming”. And for their evidence, the study authors took data from a small town on the coast of Norway, which had shown a measurable warming trend over the previous 40 years. and they compared that to the increased mortality rate in that town over the same period.

      The amount of warming? Average summer peak temperatures had gone from 62 degrees F to 67.

      They authors were so enamored of their numbers that they didn’t seem to understand that they were claiming people were dying because of sweltering summer temps of 67 degrees F. Later on, people who looked into this noted that the increased mortality came about because over that period, due to a lack of job opportunities, most of the young working age people had moved away, leaving a town of mostly elderly people behind.

    • JaneHM

      Looks like this projection/guesswork/desperate attempt at saving job-pension-etc. will – if it should come to pass [Yeah! Right!! – that is understood to be the only double positive that actually means negative, in any world language. IIRC.] sort most of the watermelons’ problems.
      Billions dead.
      Smaller – so easier – selection for slaves and concubines for the Great Ones.

      Mods – do, please, factor in a bit of /Sarc on this! Thanks!

      Auto

    • Well don’t fret over it.

      Most of the people who are living there now will be dead and buried long before the end of the 21st century, and there will be plenty of smart people who won’t go there to get incinerated.

      G

    • Absolute nonsense. I’ve live in the middle of Southeast Asia. in Singapore, 90 miles from the equator for 18 years. Was in Taiwan and Philippines before that for 4 years. It’s been hotter in past years than it is today. Hottest years were from 1998 to about 2001. The weather here is G-R-E-A-T. Wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    • What Rubbish!! I’ve lived in Southeast Asia: Singapore, 90 miles from the equator for 18 years. Was in Taiwan and Philippines before that since 1997. Hottest years were from 1998 to about 2001. Weather here tracks the El Nino/La Nino oscillation to a “T” –and nothing. The temperature here is G-R-E-A-T. Wouldn’t trade it for anything. Just came back from sun tanning at the beach and I can do it in January too.

    • I already complained formally to the BBC on this rubbish ( see below)…..of course, nobody has replied yet.

      “Complaint Summary: Total alarmist reporting as usual from Matt

      Full Complaint: The BBC used to be a source of unbiased news. Now, it is simply a tool to promote all kinds of alarmist agendas, particularly relating to “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming”. Today’s offering from Matt is typical and totally distorted.

      I have lived in many parts of this world where the heat index (combined temperature & humidity) regularly exceeds values that Matt claims will kill us. Has he ever visited the Persian Gulf in summer where daytime temperatures can reach almost 50C with EXTREMELY HIGH HUMIDITY, or Singapore or Malaysia practically any day of the year? In the case of the latter two, temperatures are above 30C EVERY DAY of the year with high humidity most every day, too. It’s 9am here – the temperature is 29C but the heat index is 34C at this precise moment according to the weather channel….by noon, it will be much worse. What about Nigeria, Houston, or even areas of Southern Europe in summer time?

      This story is RIDICULOUS but emblematic of the BBC’s standard of reporting on such issues today. ALARMIST DRIVEL with a very clear agenda in mind. You should hang your heads in shame for allowing reporters like Matt to write such absolute garbage. When the CAGW scare finally subsides, your entire news operation will look like fools for having supported this clearly alarmist agenda for so long without allowing any critical analysis of content. Shame on you, BBC……..the world deserves better than this garbage!”

      • Or Central America? Try spending a bit of time in Panama, away from the sea breeze, around the fresh water lakes (talk about humidity! Read the reports of the building of the Canal and the temps (not to mention the mosquitoes–Now They were responsible for some major fatalities) Or, the Eastern shores of Nicaragua..

      • As Phil Rae elaborates on, the biggest piece of disinformation is that 35C is humanity’s survivability threshold. There are many regions of the world where people encounter such temperatures daily.

      • Wrong. It is clear that most folks commenting on this post have no understanding of the difference between temperature and wet bulb temperature.

      • hunter, just look at all the comments saying “It was 35 here today, I’m still alive”. Therefore concluding the study was rubbish.

        Here is the Wikipedia definition: The wet-bulb temperature is the temperature a parcel of air would have if it were cooled to saturation (100% relative humidity) by the evaporation of water into it, with the latent heat being supplied by the parcel. … At 100% relative humidity, the wet-bulb temperature equals the dry-bulb temperature.

        Even a very humid place like Singapore (80-90% humidity, daytime highs of 32-34) has a mean wet bulb temperature of only 26, and a max WBT of 29.

      • Chris…the main difference is WBGT is taken in the sun…not the shade

        Where I live this is a normal temp in Aug/Sept…no one dies

      • Latitude, as ThomasJK notes below, there is a lot more to it than “taken in the sun.” It is not just a regular temperature logger sitting in the sun. If that was the case, the wet bulb temperature at a given location would always be warmer than the dry bulb temp. And it’s not, in fact it’s the exact opposite. This link shows a plot of wet bulb temperature curves plotted against dry bulb and dew point temps. For the wet bulb temp to equal the dry bulb, say at 35C, the dew point would also have to be 35C. The only place where the dew point is 35C when the dry bulb temperature is 35C is a sauna.
        http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/dry-wet-bulb-dew-point-air-d_682.html

      • Phil already answered your question.
        PS, even the IPCC has admitted that areas with high humidity will have the lowest response to CO2.

      • Chris,
        It starts with the idea that CO2 has a significant effect on the climate. Following this is the implication that anything about the perceived climate variability is at all unusual or unexpected. Next, if you have sufficient food and water, you can survive indefinitely in the warmest outdoor temperatures on the planet. This isn’t true in the coldest places like Antarctica, or even equatorial mountain tops, where at a minimum you also need fire, fuel and shelter, none of which are required to survive in warm climates. Far more deaths in the third world are due to over-population, dirty water, the lack of electricity, disease and inept governing, none of which has anything to do with the climate. While the use of emotional triggers to get people to buy in to the disinformation isn’t illegal, it’s certainly immoral and given the trillions targeted to be wasted on this foolery. it should be illegal.

      • MarkW said: “Phil already answered your question.”

        No, he didn’t. Phil referred to heat index, which is not the same as wet bulb temperature. In a humid place,. the heat index will be a few degrees above the dry bulb temperature. In Phil’s example, the temperature is 29C, the heat index is 34C. The wet bulb temperature under those conditions would be in the range of 26-29C – far far lower than the wet bulb temperature of 35C mentioned in the paper.

        I live in Singapore, the wet bulb temperature here is between 26 and 27 in the afternoon. Again, not remotely as uncomfortable as a wet bulb temperature of 35C.

        So Phil’s points and complaints to the BBC are completely unfounded.

      • Well, it is a good thing that Man has invented Abundant Affordable energy (to run) Air Conditioners and De-humidifiers otherwise we might merely survive instead of thrive

      • “Well, it is a good thing that Man has invented Abundant Affordable energy (to run) Air Conditioners and De-humidifiers otherwise we might merely survive instead of thrive.”

        Which completely misses the point of the article, which is about the impact of rising temperatures on heat stress for people who work outdoors.

      • And you, Chris, waving your rotting 18-year-old red herring around, completely miss the main issue:

        whether the average temperature of the earth is rising or not (and it appears from UAH that for the past 18 years or so that not is the case),

        there is NOTHING humans can do about it.

        CO2 UP. WARMING NOT.

        (Further, the ice core proxies say that CO2 rise lags temperature rise by a quarter cycle. And further, just how DID those Greenland Vikings grow their grain? And, as you well know, I could go on…..)

      • “….your rotting 18-year-old red herring” along with your jolly red pinwheel of “wet bulb/dry bulb” kept blowing merrily in the breeze from your own mouth (as if that issue makes a significant difference vis a vis “renewables.”) ….

      • Humanity, in their most clever way, will Always find a way to technologically counteract any problem that nature dishes out.

        If we can fly a fighter plane and drop a bomb on Afganistan from a cumfy air conditioned trailer in Saudi Arabia, figuring out a way around working in higher wet-bulb temperatures shouldn’t present much of a problem.

      • After all, working outside in the other end of the spectrum (Antarctica) will also end your life with prolonged exposure, yet Humans have found a way to do so

      • Bryan A said: “Humanity, in their most clever way, will Always find a way to technologically counteract any problem that nature dishes out.

        If we can fly a fighter plane and drop a bomb on Afganistan from a cumfy air conditioned trailer in Saudi Arabia, figuring out a way around working in higher wet-bulb temperatures shouldn’t present much of a problem.”

        Bryan, you are attempting an equivalence between a country that spends $600B a year on its military and a farmer who makes $2000/year. It’s not remotely reasonable to assume that a solution will be invented for outdoors work that will be affordable to poor farmers.

      • Janice Moore said: ““….your rotting 18-year-old red herring” along with your jolly red pinwheel of “wet bulb/dry bulb” kept blowing merrily in the breeze from your own mouth (as if that issue makes a significant difference vis a vis “renewables.”) ….”

        An absolutely incoherent rant, Janice, but entertaining nonetheless. Now to your main points: CO2 up, warming not, and no warming under UAH for the last 18 years. I’ll ignore for now the fact that you have cherry picked UAH as opposed to surface level data.

        Below is a link to Dr. Roy Spencer’s blog, where you can see a plot of UAH since 1979. To use your word, only someone who is being completely disingenuous would refuse to acknowledge that global temperatures are increasing. It is not a straight line, but the trend is very evident. Continue to cherry pick a starting date of 1998/1999 all you want, it’s not fooling anyone. http://www.drroyspencer.com/2017/06/uah-global-temperature-update-for-may-2017-0-45-deg-c/

  2. It’s good to see WUWT expose stuff like this to the light of day where it will shrivel and die like the rubbish that it is. American Association for the Advancement of Science should do a trip to the Arabian Gulf in summer and see if they return home.

    • Nothing whatsoever was exposed in this post. Except for commenters not understanding that there is a difference between temperature (which is called dry bulb temperature) and wet bulb temperature.

      • Except the idiocy that instead of making farmers in hot countries richer so they do have air conditioning, we should instead keep them poor and make everybody else poorer too,

        Based on a model.

      • “Except the idiocy that instead of making farmers in hot countries richer so they do have air conditioning, we should instead keep them poor and make everybody else poorer too”

        How is showing concern about the impacts of rising temperatures keeping South Asia farmers poor?

        Oh, and only 1% of farmers in India have more than 10 hectares of land, and 70% have less than 1 hectare. So their poverty has virtually nothing to do with energy policy – it has everything to do with very limited land and 1.5B people living on it. You can’t afford to buy tractors and combines and other mechanized equipment when you own less than 3 acres of land. The average landholding size in India is going down, not up: “”The average size of the holding has been estimated as 1.15 hectare. The average size of these holdings has shown a steady declining trend over various Agriculture Censuses since 1970-71,” an official statement said on Wednesday.”
        http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/nearly-70-percent-of-indian-farms-are-very-small-census-shows-115120901080_1.html

      • Hey Janice,

        If you’re going to trot out phrases like misleadingly disingenuous, you might want to back them up with specific points. Otherwise they are just empty words.

  3. Looked up Heatwaves in Wikipedia and found this about a particularly bad one in the US, before Willis Carrier, of course. Imagine if that happened today. The sky is falling!
    “In the most extensive study of American heatwaves, it was estimated that the 1901 eastern heatwave had claimed the lives of 9,500 people, which makes it easily the most destructive disaster of its type in US history.”

    • Actually Will Carrier just finished his engineering degree at Cornell in 1901. The 1901 Heatwave may have given him the idea to cool people in summer.
      BTW, I found this info about Will on the Carrier website:
      “Genius can strike anywhere. For Willis Carrier, it was a foggy Pittsburgh train platform in 1902. Carrier stared through the mist and realized that he could dry air by passing it through water to create fog. Doing so would make it possible to manufacture air with specific amounts of moisture in it. Within a year, he completed his invention to control humidity – the fundamental building block for modern air conditioning.”

  4. Perhaps you should tell the Australian Aborigines, or the African bushmen that they can’t survive in the very place that they have lived for 140,000 years.

    • I wonder how the Aboriginals of Australia survived the Global Warming and associate sea level rise after the last Ice Age ended. Lucky, they didn’t have newspapers and TV sets to tell them they were toast.

  5. How odd. I live in the tropics. In one of the most humid areas on earth. …..Then it rains. And cools everything down. …..Every afternoon. LOL

  6. “… the survivability threshold (35 degrees Celsius)…”

    WTF? 95F isn’t survivable? Since when? I’ve had the unfortunate, and utterly miserable experience, of performing work in a place where the wet bulb temperature reached 64C. Heck, I’ve been in Southeast Asia, summer temperatures routinely reach and exceed 35C, before figuring out the wet bulb temp. What kind of bovine scat are these folks trying to peddle?

    • The wet bulb temperature in Singapore is nowhere near 35. Daily temperature readings are dry bulb, not wet bulb.

      • JUST IN CASE YOU REALLY CARE ENOUGH TO FIND OUT:

        https://www.easycalculation.com/weather/wetbulb-humidity-calculator.php

        Wet Bulb Temperature – Twb
        The Wet Bulb temperature is the adiabatic saturation temperature.

        Wet Bulb temperature can be measured by using a thermometer with the bulb wrapped in wet muslin. The adiabatic evaporation of water from the thermometer bulb and the cooling effect is indicated by a “wet bulb temperature” lower than the “dry bulb temperature” in the air.

        The rate of evaporation from the wet bandage on the bulb, and the temperature difference between the dry bulb and wet bulb, depends on the humidity of the air. The evaporation from the wet muslin is reduced when air contains more water vapor.

        The Wet Bulb temperature is always between the Dry Bulb temperature and the Dew Point. For the wet bulb, there is a dynamic equilibrium between heat gained because the wet bulb is cooler than the surrounding air and heat lost because of evaporation. The wet bulb temperature is the temperature of an object that can be achieved through evaporative cooling, assuming good air flow and that the ambient air temperature remains the same.

        By combining the dry bulb and wet bulb temperature in a psychrometric chart or Mollier diagram the state of the humid air can be determined. Lines of constant wet bulb temperatures run diagonally from the upper left to the lower right in the Psychrometric chart.

  7. An interesting thing about heat waves. Yes, during a heat wave, the death rate rises, but after the heat wave abates, the death rate decreases for a time. This is because the heat wave takes those who are already a few weeks from death anyhow. You do not see the same effect with cold waves because there, the lack of home heating can kill anyone; cold is much less discriminating than hot. Ack! Discrimination! There oughta be a law!

  8. “survivability threshold (35 degrees Celsius)”.

    I don’t suppose the millions, nay billions, of farmers currently working in >35 degrees right now ever survive.

  9. South Asia means India Pakistan Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Can they please use the correct term if they mean SE Asia?

    • They don’t mean SE Asia, they mean S Asia. That’s why the article mentions Pakistan. And SE Asia does not have 1/5th of the world’s population, it has around 7%.

    • Well, yes, and so are hot tubs — Especially if you are sitting in the hot tub sipping champagne rather than chug-a-lugging beer or ale.

  10. Today in central Washington, USA, our high was 103°F (39.4°C). I did a few things outside, until Noon. Others were still outside working, especially those acclimated to high temperature. In winter when it is well below freezing, those same folks will feed and water cattle, pick up garbage, and so on.
    We do have an air-health issue because of fires in the region. Those with breathing problems have been advised not to do much outside.
    A related note is that such hot temperature here usually coincides with a lack of wind. The effect on wind power output can be seen in this chart: (changes every 5 minutes)

    https://transmission.bpa.gov/business/operations/wind/baltwg.aspx

    Wind power is the green line — hugging the bottom.

    Anyone wishing to base their society and their health on wind power should take note.

    • The article talks about wet bulb temperature, not temperature. There is a massive difference between the two. For example, wet bulb temperatures in Wenatchee are in the low 20s Celsius in July and August, which is nowhere near 35.

  11. It will be 41c in the shade where i am today. Was 38 yesterday.

    I just hope ill make it through the day. I’m a risk taker, i plan to walk 45 mins to my office..

    I guess this is the end.

  12. Well a lot of folks talking temperature with no regard for humidity.

    I’ve walked in the desert at 50C and as long as you have plenty of water its OK

    its a lot worse at 35C when its 100% humidity.

    Try a trip to say Chichen Itza in summer time

    There is a reason people take Siestas.

    • Yes, it gets warm and you feel lethargic, but you won’t die.
      I was recently in Thailand (that place in the map graphic), it was very hot hot and humid (+35 °C), but as I’m still writing this today we must surmise that 35°C isn’t fatal. Although, I do feel for those poor souls who were standing guard a the Royal Palace, at least they reduced the change-over to 45 min.

      • That’s because you are looking at dry bulb, not wet bulb. At 35C dry bulb in BKK, the web bulb temperature will be in the 26-29C range.

      • ” At 35C dry bulb in BKK, the web bulb temperature will be in the 26-29C range.” ? ….D’OH !

  13. Heat and cold waves are part of general circulation system in summer and winter. They relate to three meteorological parameters, namely temperature, relative humidity and wind [speed and direction]. However, outside of general circulation system heat and cold conditions are experienced by people along the coast [east coast, more particularly and less in west coast]. They are not part of heat and cold waves.

    At the age of 35, I published 35 scientific papers both in national and international journals of which around 12 in IMD Journal – Director General of IMD visited Pune IMD Office along with the planning Commission Members and brought them to my seat and introduced them –. One of it is Wet Bulb Temperature Distribution over India [published in 1976]. In this study 45 stations data was used for January, April, July, October and annual maps of wet bulb temperature distribution over India was presented. The highest isotherm of wet bulb temperature of 28 oC in July passes through parts of Bihar and UP states, which is the region with frequent heat waves. This is heat wave with wet conditions. The east coast in general presented higher wet bulb temperature but mostly less than 26 oC. These are daily averages and not extremes – dry bulb temperature and relative humidity is also daily averages and not extremes.

    Under dry heat wave conditions, extremes may reach as high as 50oC. With the humidity level they come down. Here wind is the main driving force to specify the heat wave condition.

    WMO presented a discomfort in terms of temperature and relative humidity as: 20oC-85%; 25oC-60%; 30oC-44% and 35oC-33%.

  14. I must be a very lively zombie. 35C is routine here in Texas, and I used to work in a cannery where it was well over that. Of course, if one believes Paul Ehrlich, I died thirty years ago of famine.

    • That is 35C, not 35C of ‘wet bulb temperature’ the term used in/basis for this research.

      “TW is defined as the temperature that an air parcel would attain if cooled at constant pressure by evaporating water within it until saturation. It is a combined measure of temperature [that is, dry-bulb temperature (T)] and humidity (Q) that is always less than or equal to T. “

      • Obviously, the solution is to wrap one’s self in wet muslin to keep ones body at the wet bulb temperature.
        Ask yourself why desert Arabs wrap up in such heavy clothing

  15. This sounds just like the warning buzzer in my car.

    OH MY GOD THE WIPER FLUID IS LOW WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE AAAAAAAAAAA!

    Sounds like that to me, anyway.

  16. American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) & EurekAlert are fake news sites just like – Natural News, Private Eye, The Onion, Skeptical Science, Before It’s News….

    From the AAAS site –
    “Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.”

    Just like this from – Trending Viral (a Philippine fake news site). . “The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site…. will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor the availability of this information…”

  17. “In 2015, the fifth deadliest heat wave in recorded history” – So this was cooler than previous heat waves but somehow indicates it’s getting hotter?

    “the densely populated agricultural regions” Um… what is this? I thought agricultural regions had LESS population than urban areas.

  18. The dry bulb was 33C and I’m guessing the wet bulb was 2C or so above it when I was mowing the lawn today. I need to use this article as an excuse to avoid yard work. And I live in fairly moderate central Virginia. it was hotter last week, but I suppose we all died

    • Wet bulb temperature will always be lower than dry bulb, it can never be higher. You have it backwards. On a humid day at 33C dry bulb temperature, the wet bulb temperature will be 24-27C.

      • Chris is correct and many here seem to not understand the difference between dry bulb and wet bulb temps.

        http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/dry-wet-bulb-dew-point-air-d_682.html

        The Wet Bulb temperature always lies between the dry bulb temp and dew point temp. So a Wet bulb survivability temp means that if you take a thermometer and wrap the mercury bulb with evaporating material then the temp lower until the cooling from evaporation reaches equilibrium with heat of the surrounding air. So in affect it is the temperature where sweating no longer cools the human body.

        Most desert like temps of 40-50 deg C have ultra low humidity which means sweat can evaporate freely and the wet bulb temp is much lower than the 35 deg C survivability temp.

        Occasionally along the gulf coasts you get a sea fog with temperatures in excess of 30 deg C. This is the closest it gets to this survivability temperature and I am told by a Met colleague that it is unbearable to go outside when they occur.

        Here are some real world examples. A random snap shot of Kuwait city today. Note Relative humidity is only 8.3%. This would mean the WetBulb temps would be around 25 deg C cooler than dry bulb which would mean a wetbulb temp of 21 deg C.
        Jahra ✖
        ID: NIL 40586 Lat: 29.3 Lon: 47.7 Elev: 55m
        Latest Graph
        Temp Dew Point Relative Humidity
        46.0°C 4.3°C 8.3%

        Bahrain which is surrounded by sea and therefore more humid is 5 deg cooler on dry bulb but has 34% humidity resulting in a wetbulb temp of roughly 28 deg C. Bahrain would feel much hotter than Kuwait city because the human body would only potentially cool down to 28 deg C from sweating as compared to 21 deg C in Kuwait.

        Bahrain International Airport ✖
        ID: OBBI 41150 Lat: 26.3 Lon: 50.6 Elev: 2m
        Latest Graph Metar / Taf
        Temp Dew Point Relative Humidity
        41.0°C 22.0°C 34.0%
        Feels like 46.5°C

  19. The wet bulb temperature is ALWAYS less than or equal to the dry bulb temperature!
    When they are equal, we say it is 100% humidity.

    The wet bulb is colder because, as water evaporates it absorbs heat and lowers the temperature.

    35C is the same as 95F. A wet bulb temperature of 35C means that a person can not cool their skin below 95F via perspiration, which is too close to normal body temperature.

      • Of course they have. But going into a steam bath and sitting there for 30min is a whole lot different than doing manual labor in it for 8 hours. I can’t believe I need to explain this to you.

  20. Yet more claims of never before experienced in the whole of Earth’s 4 billion years history threatening all life with just slightly a little while away total destruction and it’s all because of our evil CO2/beef eating/ travel fixated (take your pick) using habits. Do any of these people seriously think they have any credibility left anymore? Chris evidently does but perhaps he has never visited South Asia or South-East Asia and experienced the conditions there? Human resilience is something to see and admire.

  21. Is a wet bulb temperature of 35C even physically possible? It would require massive evaporation, and so is only possible in very wet areas or over the sea. The result will be intense convection, convective clouds and thunderstorms.

    Note that extreme heat in India occurrs in late spring and early summer (May or June is the warmest month), once the summer monsoon starts the temperature drops.

    • 35 deg C and 100% humidity would do it or 40 deg C and 70% humidity. Neither of these are likely unless something like sea temps rose locally to +35 deg C and I think think this is the point of this article…sea temps do locally rise to low 30s in the Persian Gulf and Red sea and if they rose further then temps could potentially become unbearable, but once again they miss what a lot of climate scientists miss and that is Meteorology. The time of year when you get air temps warmer than 35 deg C is also the time of year when humidity is low so low risk. Yes it is possible, but highly unlikely.

    • Map of the current maximum wet bulb temperatures experienced around the world.

      The highest numbers are around 30C right now. As in 40C, 50% relative humidity; 32C, 90% relative humidity. When you get to these type of numbers, it is most likely just going to rain and cool everything off.

      • We note that the large positive departure of maximum temperature from the climatology during the heat wave periods largely coincides with the areas (particularly in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Odisha) where TW is projected to approach or exceed the survivability threshold under the Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 (RCP 8.5) scenario (see Fig. 2) (23).

        Claims that RCP 8.5 is “business as usual” or that something is “projected” to happen under RCP 8.5 should be prosecuted as mail or wire fraud.

      • Further, the estimated 2100 average global temperatures, derived from models, includes temperatures (poorly sampled) from the Arctic, which is generally acknowledged to be warming at least 2X faster than the global average. While the surface area above the Arctic Circle is only about 4%, it appears that the high latitudes experiencing accelerated warming is probably closer to about 25%. Additionally, it is warming more at night and in the Winter, globally, than in the Summer. The averages hide this and presume that the average is a reasonable indicator of Summer daytime temperatures. More excited hand waving that they can put on their CV and ask for more funding.

      • The “funny” thing is that more warming at night, winter and in the coldest air masses, is actually consistent with an enhanced greenhouse effect. This is actual evidence that supports some degree of AGW.

        The problem is that this evidence contradicts the catastrophic version of AGW, maybe even indicating that AGW is a “good thing.”

    • Except they are, since they are assuming that we keep using fossil fuels for another 83 years but farmers in Asia don’t get richer and move inside and get air conditioning.

      Do you really think that by the end of the century we are simply where we are now in terms of technology and wealth?

      • Farmers don’t get rich and move inside? How exactly is that going to happen when the average farm size in india is less than 3 acres in size?

  22. Wheeee. They can’t forecast what it’s going to be next month, and they think people will believe them when they forecast for 80 years from now?

  23. Totally idiotic $$$ seeking article. The claim is that South Asia will still be a 3rd world outhouse by 2100ad. What a crock of shyte. That is 83 years away and look at how that area has modernised over the last 20 years, let alone 80+. Who knows what advances in technology will be used in the next 30 years. Just a worthless lot of attention seeking designed to ingratiate themselves with the money launderers of AGW.
    regards

    • And they will definitely have plenty of electricity for air-conditioning, given the number of coal fired power stations they are building.

      • There’s some sort of causal link there I think you may be missing

        (and no, they aren’t going to be building that many coal power plants)

      • Griff

        August 4, 2017 at 7:06 am

        There’s some sort of causal link there I think you may be missing

        CausAl says so

  24. In the western suburbs of Sydney last summer it did reach 48C which was a record, but prior to the high of 48 there was a measured temperature of about 43 degrees with a dew point of near 28C, which as anyone will tell you is very high for a dry bulb reading of 43 and more uncomfortable than 48C when the DP is only about 10C.

    • I find that hard to believe. The only way Sydney reaches such high temperatures is being on the receiving end of north westerly airflows that have travelled thousands of km’s across the hot inland. The DP on a day of 43C would have been in single digits at best. At my location in coastal North Queensland a DP of 28 is rare even with airmasses originating over a tropical/equatorial ocean. I can’t see that such a DP is possible in Sydney with a continental airmass.

  25. I recall walking to work in Abu Dhabi on over 40C days with near 100% humidity. It was not pleasant and required a change of shirt when I got to the office, but strangely I saw no bodies in that streets. Apparently real people just aren’t aware of what the computer models say they should be doing.

    • It may have felt like 100% humidity, but it was nowhere near that. Mean max humidity for Abu Dhabi ranges from 73-80% during the months of June through September.

      • I’ve seen it 40C and foggy in Abu Dhabi.
        Funny, in the winter when it would be a very pleasant 20-25C the paperboys on the corner would be in heavy coats and watch caps and actually shivering. It’s all what you are used to.

      • No it was 100%. The mean does not describe the range of variation. The windows were pouring water due to condensation. The 100% humidity days were sometimes capped off by torrential rain, a welcome but rare event, though not as rare as the snow that fell in the Musandam.

    • There is not enough solar energy anywhere on earth to create air with 100% humidity at 40°C. Think about it carefully. Moisture would literally condense in your lungs. This is close to 51g of water vapor per cubic meter of air.
      Solar energy alone cannot supply the energy it would take to evaporate this much water.
      I live in a hot humid climate. Many people complain about the humidity, assuming it is close to 100%. But a 40°C day with a 30°C wetbulb temp (which is very hot and very humid.) still is less than half saturated (25g water vapor/cubic meter) about RH of 49%.
      A parcel of air at 40°C at 100% humidity has about 70% more heat than it does at 49% humidity. Suggestions that CO2 can increase the heat content of air this much are quite preposterous.

  26. ‘Hot and humid temperatures in South Asia, which contains one-fifth of the global population, will exceed the upper limit of human survivability by the late 21st century’

    Can’t they just go inside?

  27. And of course the idea that sustained wet bulb temps could reach 35C is simply fantasy and science fiction (courtesy of climate model computer games), just as the idea is that space aliens could invade earth at any moment expressing a desire to serve mankind (on fine space alien china, of course).

    Humidity never stays at 100%, so drinking plenty of water and a simple breeze are all it takes to cool the body to a safe level. I’ve worked at sustained dry bulb temps of 120F with peaks up to 140F when I had to climb a ladder to the interior top of greenhouses. It was brutal, but I survived.

  28. When will these damn morons wake up and smell the future energy technologies. Do these morons really believe that people will be driving fossil fueled vehicles even after 2050? Or not be using advanced nuclear reactors way before 2050? Their predictions are based on impossible scenarios and are therefore pure nonsensical blatherings that attempt to frighten, even if you believe their dire estimates of the power of CO2 to warm the planet.

  29. This is as credible as the projections about Tibetan glaciers melting away or an ice free Arctic by 2015.

  30. During the first Gulf War I was in the USN, cruising around in the gulf on the USS Nimitz. As a Nuclear MM I was down running the reactor and generating a lot of steam to run the ship. It was hot and humid 24/7 with ambient temperature in that space ~110 F (44.4 C), once temperature exceeds 100 F (37.8 C) you are required to go into heat stress monitoring which includes taking wet bulb temperature. Sea water temperature was ~86 F (30 C) using our non calibrated sea water injection temperature gage that was +/- 2 F.

    We took some wet bulb temp readings along and it had us at 105 F (40.5C) which meant we were only allowed to spend 2 hours at a time down in the space. We had just enough personnel for 3 people on watch per station (should of been double that but feces happens), which is why we never recorded the information and didn’t log a temperature any higher than 100 degrees on our logs. Being on a 2 hr on 4 hr off watch rotation for months on end is not exactly conducive to officially informing our officers of the real conditions down there and they were smart enough not to look at a thermometer when asking us if it was hotter than 100 F.

    No one had to go to medical for dehydration, suffered heat exhaustion/stroke or even died though it was higher than that mythical 35 C WBGT. And no, there wasn’t much cooling down off watch either. There were no cold showers to cool down with best we could manage was a luke warm shower, desal is done by flashing sea water into steam and it usually didn’t have time to cool down a lot with our water use vs. storage tank temps. Supposedly our berthing had AC but yeah, they steal parts off those AC units to keep AC working for spaces with electronics and officer berthing.

  31. Elephant in the room alert: All such predictions/projections are made using altered temp data that informs computer model programs. I hastily add that these models are ostensibly about as valuable as a [trimmed] in a bottle. They have routinely projected/predicted wildly inaccurate results that very widely and this is true when trying to recreate past temps. Putting faith in them to get even close to the scenarios years, let alone decades, down the road requires…well…FAITH…because it sure is hell ain’t dispassionate, rational objectivity; they’re a farce!

    Additionally, the Sun’s going into a minimum that many solar physicists around the globe are “projecting” will be a long protracted one. So all of this time and energy debating whether comments about understanding wetbulb/drybulb (dullbulb?) is no more than an academic exercise. These predicted dangers are not there now and just at importantly, those making these -idiotic-, err, bold projections/predictions will be gone by the time they don’t happen. BS by an other name…

  32. A prediction with numbers 83 years in the future. How can anyone call this science with a straight face? It’s ludicrous. It’s science fiction. It’s nonsense. It’s worse than a wild guess.

    • But it does provide a scary headline and the opportunity to argue how many angels can dance on the head of a pin for those who like to obfuscate with jargon.

      And the straight-face is practiced in the mirror – an exercise which is actually pretty easy if you make sure to take the all-important first step and jettison any sense of shame.

  33. The cost effective way to avoid issues is to install coal plants and then provide homes air conditioners.

    I think I will promote this scheme and invest in Big Air and make a huge profit!

  34. I think they are taking the political term “Snowflake” too literally.
    We were in northern Scotland in the late 90’s, in late May. Beautiful country. Nice folks, although several chided us for our country not signing Kyoto. They were having a heat wave, and the locals were melting. You could tell the Americans – running around in shorts and T-shirts, staying in the sun, while the locals wore jackets.
    The high during our two week stay was 68 F, which explains why we Americans were staying in the sun. With that breeze, a tad more clothing was appropriate. But for God’s sake, if it’s hot, take off your coat!

    • At 40C, as opposed to the 20C you experienced on your trip, the coats were never on in the first place.

  35. What are the wet bulb high temperatures in this region today? What is the magnitude of the rise in wet bulb temperatures the authors are predicting?

  36. The statement “the fifth deadliest heat wave in recorded history affected large parts of India and Pakistan, claiming around 3,500 lives” ignores ‘non-recorded’ history and the effects of population growth. There is little doubt that there have been comparable heat waves in the past 8000 years of habitation of the area that reached similar ‘heat index’ values, or that in the less-populated past there would not have been as many fatalities from heat waves. Also ignored is the adaptability of humans, who invented air conditioning specifically to deal with such conditions, and that the region continues to increase the per capita availability of electric power.

    • No, it does not ignore non recorded history. Since no data is available for non recorded history, it is useless to make conjecture about that time. it is still perfectly valid to compare what has happened during the time of recorded history.

      • Chris, will you tell the treemometer people or will I?

        BTW: thanks so much for informing everybody about the meaning of wet bulb temperatures. I wonder though whether the authors of this paper have done a reality check on their projections.

      • “it does not ignore non recorded history”

        “Non-recorded history”?

        Has anyone ever told you you’re an idiot?

      • catweazle66, I quoted tadchem. Since I have seen the quality of your posts earlier, I won’t waste my time.

    • Good grief, guys! If it’s not recorded, it isn’t history. There is no such thing as “non recorded history.”

      • Yes indeed! The rants of folks like catweazle are amusing to watch. But it’s sad that some folks don’t have a logical bone in their body.

  37. The study is legitimate research. It compares model outcomes from RCP4.5 (certainly doable) and RCP8.5 (a worst case outcome. Contrasting outcomes provides context. Unfortunately, they misrepresent RCP8.5 as a “business as usual” scenario.”

    Deadly heat waves projected in the densely populated agricultural regions of South Asia” by Eun-Soon Im et al. in Science Advances, 2 August 2017.

    The Guardian further exaggerates this study to create alarmist propaganda: “Climate change to cause humid heatwaves that will kill even healthy people“.

    Almarists will take the Guardian’s reporting and further exaggerate it. This is the alarmists’ version of telephone. The result created in the typical leftist’s mind will bear little resemblance to reality.

  38. While you’all was discussing the differences in WB and DB and Temp, you seem to have missed the most important words:
    ” After running high-resolution simulations under two climate scenarios…”

    Anyone know what the parameters of those simulations were? My guess would be worse case scenarios probably not even possible to come about.

  39. Shouldn’t I be dead already, living in Taipei, and thinking a wet bulb temperature under 95 feels like a touch of fall is in the air?

    • Yeah, I’ve lived in SE Asia for 20 years. The wet bulb temperature is not remotely close to 35C. So what’s your point?

  40. Highest temperature here last year: 38.7 C, humidity at the time: 59%, air pressure 1014 millibars. From an on-line calculator, the wet-bulb temperature would have been 31.3 C. So that was a “dangerous level”? Somebody really should have told all the people enjoying it. (That’s very dry for us; median humidity that year was 72%.)

  41. It is pretty clear from the comments here that there is a general lack of understanding about wet bulb temperature. Wet bulb temperatures above body temperature is fatal period. And these conditions do not occur on planet earth. Not on the Texas Gulf coast, not sipping cocktails in SE Asia, not in Darwin.

  42. We are being flooded by a series of “what if?” ancillary research projects allegedly related to climate change issues. The results from this research are based on the premise that climate change is human-induced and due to the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and bodes trouble for mankind. The premise itself is the unresolved issue. Until the premise has been tested and supported by real world data, studies of the possible human effects of climate change are pointless and a waste of resources. Research on a predicated hypothesis is based on an illusion.

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