Headline Feb 29, 2016/ ''' DEADLY HEAT .. - .. * BY 2100 * '''

''' DEADLY HEAT .. - .. * BY 2100 * '''

BY THE END OF THIS CENTURY,  areas of the Persian Gulf could be hit by waves of heat and humidity so severe that simply being outside for several hours could threaten human life, according to a new study.

Because of the humanity's contribution to climate change, authors wrote, some population centers in the Middle East are likely to experience temperature levels that are intolerable to humans.''

The dangerous muggy summer conditions predicted for places near the warm waters of the Gulf could overwhelm the ability of the human body to reduce the temperatures through sweating and ventilation.

That threatens anyone without air-conditioning, including the poor, but also those who work outdoors in the professions like agriculture and construction.

The paper published recently in the journal Nature Climate Change, was written by Jeremy S. Pal of the department of  civil engineering  and environmental science at  Loyola Marymount University  in Los Angeles and Elfaith A.B. Elthahir of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Previous studies had suggested that such conditions might be reached within 200 years. But the new research, which depends on the climate models that focus on regional topography and conditions, foresees a shorter timeline.       

The researchers resolve the old argument over whether the source of summer misery is the heat or the humidity by saying that it is both.

They rely on measuring atmospheric conditions known as  wet-bulb temperature, which while less well known and understood than the standard method of measuring temperatures, describes the extent to evaporation and ventilation can reduce an object's temperature.

A wet bulb thermometer has, literally, a wet bulb: it is wrapped in a moistened cloth.   

If the wet bulb temperature is 95 degrees Fahrenheit  [35 degrees Celsius] even a person drenched in sweat cannot cool off. Wet-bulb readings are not the same as the heat-index measurements used by the National Weather Service in the united States. Dr. Eltahir said.

A wet-bulb measure of  95 degrees Fahrenheit, he estimated, would roughly translate to a heat-index reading of 165 degrees. Since even today's heat waves cause premature deaths by the thousands, mainly affecting the very young, the elderly the infirm-

The more extreme conditions envisioned in the new paper  ''would probably be intolerable event for the fittest of humans, resulting in hyperthermia'' after six hours of exposure.

Erich M.Fischer, a senior scientist at the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science at the science and technology university  ETH Zurich who was not involved with the paper, explained the role of humidity.

''Anyone can experience the fact that humidity plays a crucial role in this in the sauna,'' he said. ''You can heat up a Finnish Sauna up to 100 degrees Celsius since it is bone dry and the body efficiently cools down by excessive sweating even at ambient temperatures far higher than the body temperature.

In a Turkish bath, on the other hand, with almost 100 percent relative humidity, you want to keep the temperatures well below 40 degrees Celsius since the body cannot get rid of the heat by sweating and starts to accumulate heat.''  

*The research raises the prospect of  ''severe consequences''  for the hajj, the annual pilgrimage that draws roughly two million people to Mecca to pray outdoors from dawn to dusk.

Should the hajj, which can occur at various times of the year, fall during summer's height,  ''this necessary outdoor Muslim ritual is likely to become hazardous to human health, the authors predict.*

Steven Sherwood, a researcher whose work in 2010 suggested that parts of the world could become inhabitable within 200 years  of fossil-fuel burning continued unabated, said he saw no reason to doubt the results of the new study.

However, he added that  ''we really need to learn how to improve these models'' to build confidence in the results.

With respectful dedication to the  Leaders of the Free World, - and to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society and the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Flip The Script '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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