Wednesday, August 02, 2017

India Heading for "Wet Bulb 35"

There is a point where high heat and high humidity will kill even the healthiest human being. That's called Wet Bulb 35. When that is reached, the body can no longer cool itself with perspiration. The individual simply bakes to death. The only solution is to find someplace cool.

A new analysis concludes these extreme heatwaves will hit India within a couple of decades unless the nations of the world sharply cut their greenhouse gas emissions starting now.  That means abandoning fossil energy abruptly, what Hans Joachim Schellnhuber described as an "induced implosion" of the fossil fuel industry.

The alternative? That's to prepare ourselves for the Great Die-Off as we'll watch people in the millions succumb to our man-made oven. That's a pretty stark choice. Do we accept the Great Die-Off or do we change course to prevent as much of it as possible? To be honest, I think we'll be okay with it. That goes double for those who strive to market the most carbon-intensive fossil fuels on the planet and, yes, that includes Canada's political caste and their supporters.

Extreme heatwaves that kill even healthy people within hours will strike parts of the Indian subcontinent unless global carbon emissions are cut sharply and soon, according to new research.
Even outside of these hotspots, three-quarters of the 1.7bn population – particularly those farming in the Ganges and Indus valleys – will be exposed to a level of humid heat classed as posing “extreme danger” towards the end of the century.

The revelations show the most severe impacts of global warming may strike those nations, such as India, whose carbon emissions are still rising as they lift millions of people out of poverty.

“It presents a dilemma for India between the need to grow economically at a fast pace, consuming fossil fuels, and the need to avoid such potentially lethal impacts,” said Prof Elfatih Eltahir, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US who led the new study. “To India, global climate change is no longer abstract – it is about how to save potentially vulnerable populations.”

Heatwaves are already a major risk in South Asia, with a severe episode in 2015 leading to 3,500 deaths, and India recorded its hottest ever dayin 2016 when the temperature in the city of Phalodi, Rajasthan, hit 51C. Another new study this week linked the impact of climate change to the suicides of nearly 60,000 Indian farmers.


Anonymous said...

Should lead to a boom in Bikram Yoga! Someone's gotta make a buck off this.


The Mound of Sound said...

Cold, Cap. Very, very cold.

Northern PoV said...

Hey, your graphic says it all.
Biosphere-killing levels of cognitive dissonance mean we're 'ok' with it now.... Later we'll likely be too busy surviving to give our fellow humans much thought or concern.

The Mound of Sound said...

James Lovelock's theory of Gaia, Earth that functions in ways that mirror those of a living organism, suggests that an overpopulated world triggers something akin to a fever response killing off the human virus and allowing the planet, eventually, to return to another steady state. That was widely mocked when Lovelock first published his theory but few dismiss it today.