The summer of 2023 was the hottest on record in the United states, but that might be just the beginning. According to a new research study, middle America is on a path to unlivable heat. Here is the full story.
America the Hot
According to researchers at a trio of American universities, the earth is about a degree Celsius warmer than it was before the Industrial Revolution.
Can Humans Survive?
With no slowdown in sight, the scientists decided to model what would happen to human life if the temperature continues to rise. They picked five different temperature ranges, spanning from about 1.5 to more than 4 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
They Made Some Guesses
Then for each temperature range, the researchers simulated what would happen to the climate around the globe. Coupling what they know about human requirements for life, they then made some predictions.
In most cases, the outlook is not a rosy one for humans in an increasingly hotter world.
About to Get Hotter
For instance, according to Purdue doctoral candidate Qinqin Kong, the most likely scenario is a rise in temperatures of 2.1-3.5 degrees Celsius.
Too Hot to Handle
When and if that 3-degree mark is surpassed, some of the hottest inhabited regions in the world could become all but unlivable.
Time to Move
The Indus Valley and coastal regions in the Middle East could slip into a 2-month summer each year at those temps that would be deadly to humans. Most likely, says Kong, people would have to leave those lands.
Middle America Could Boil
Those same extremes would likely be felt across central Africa and across the middle part of the United States, too.
Head West…and North
A potential climate map shared with Newsweek shows that the eastern half of the United States would face long periods, every year, of temperatures that would be intolerable to humans.
Just Stay Inside
The net result would likely be a change in the way humans live their lives, including an increased reliance on air conditioning and more focus on indoor activities.
The Breaking Point
If the warming remains below 3 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, Kong says humans might have a chance to avoid the rampant heat stroke, heart attacks, and death that will come with the higher ranges in the study.
No Turning Back
But if the warming trends slide toward the upper reaches of the study, to 4 degrees Celsius or more, then all bets are off on human existence.
Fire on Earth
At those temperatures, many Middle Eastern cities would see the equivalent of about 300 days each year that were too hot for human life. That quick change would almost certainly cause people to abandon those metro areas completely.
People Need Time
Over time, says Daniel Vecellio, a postdoctoral fellow at Penn State University, humans might be able to adapt to large swings in temperature.
Can’t Move That Fast
But the researchers’ models show that the current warming trend could lead to disastrous heat by the end of the 21st century. And that’s much too quick for humans to adapt to.
Many, Many Generations
As Vecellio says, the required human adaptations would take, “many, many generations to develop, much longer than the timescales associated with our current changing climate.”
Sweating the Future
That likely means earthlings should prepare for some uncomfortable years ahead as we try to figure out how to avert the great meltdown that seems inevitable.
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The post The Growing Climate Crisis: Global Warming Threatens to Make America’s Midsection Uninhabitable! first appeared on Mama Say What?!
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Jacob Lund. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.