A majority of swathes in the tropical region of Asia and Africa will turn itself into arid, drylands in the next 70 years. According to the reports of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, one-third of the population in these areas faces the threat of extinction in the next 50 years, if carbon emission is not contained.
Global warming has increased the energy and moisture in the atmosphere, and that combination makes conditions ripe for severe storms and floods. Certainly, hurricanes occur and intensify over low-pressure areas fed by moisture and warmer oceans. To be accurate, however, climate scientists could only say, “When weather events occur, global warming is likely to make them more extreme.”
Conducted by a team of researchers from Wageningen University, Nanjing University, University of Exeter, Aarhus University, and Washington State University, Santa Fe Institute, the study warns that rapid heating could mean that by 2070 3.5 billion people would live outside the climate ‘niche’ in which humans have thrived for 6,000 years.
“This rapid temperature rise, combined with projected global population changes, means about 30 percent of the world’s projected population – will live in places with an average temperature above 29C within 50 years, if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase,” the team warned. “These climate conditions are currently experienced by just 0.8 percent of the global land surface, mostly in the hottest parts of the Sahara desert, but by 2070 the conditions could spread to 19 percent of the planet’s land area.”
Areas that receive little moisture from the oceans would not benefit from the fact that the air can hold more water. Though higher temperatures mean that more water evaporates into the air, it also means that the air can hold more moisture before becoming saturated. Areas that generally experience aridity are much more likely to have less rainfall in the future. This past year has seen droughts in Europe, Russia, China, and South America that have limited the production of grain and increased the chances that some species may become extinct.
The heatwaves in Europe in 2019 and 2018 that caused widespread crop failure and wildfires may have been the worst in 500 years. Assuredly, more frequent and extensive droughts may occur in a warming world. Australia recently experienced the worst fire in the history of its existence, and well Amazon Rainforest was up in flames recently, putting the entire eco-system at stake.