March 31, 2023


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Entire regions will become uninhabitable in the next few decades

These systems indicate that there are thresholds beyond which populations exposed to extreme heat and humidity cannot survive, and beyond which societies can no longer adapt. “Under current trajectories, heat waves may reach and exceed these physiological and social limits in the next few decades, particularly in regions such as the Sahel, South Asia, and Southwest Asia,” they write.

Such a situation would result in “massive suffering and loss of human life, displacement of people and worsening inequalities”.

Deadly disaster

According to the report, almost everywhere reliable statistics are available, heat waves are the most dangerous weather hazard. They kill thousands of people every year, and will become more deadly as climate change accelerates, UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths and IFRC secretary-general Jagan Chapagain say in the report.

Heat waves are behind some of the deadliest disasters on record. A heat wave inside More than 70,000 deaths occurred in Europe in 2003, and a heat wave in Russia in 2010 killed nearly 55,000 people. According to the report, experts predict extremely high death rates from extreme heat, “by the end of this century, comparable to all cancers”.

“The Silent Killer”

This year, regions or entire countries in North Africa, Australia, Europe, South Asia and the Middle East were suffocated by record temperatures, but so were China and the western United States. The report recalls that extreme heat is “a silent killer” whose effects will multiply and create enormous challenges for sustainable development while creating new humanitarian needs. “We are already underfunded and under-resourced to respond to some of the worst humanitarian crises going on this year,” Griffiths said.

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