In the next 50 years, somewhere between 1 to 3 billion people are expected to be inflicted with unbearable heat, according to the study. By 2070, that could be about a third of the overall global population at that time.
If greenhouse gas emissions do not start to fall sharply, more than three billion people will have to live in climates with average temperatures above 29 degrees Celsius in the future, according to a new study on climate change.
The study’s authors point out that climate change threatens the climate system in which people have lived for the past 6,000 years.
The study was conducted by the Institute of Global Systems at the University of Exeter, UK, in collaboration with scientists from Europe, the United States, and China.
The scientists used UN data on the projected population of the world and based their estimates on the assumption that the average global air temperature will increase by three degrees Celsius by 2070.
The study concludes that most of the world’s population lives in climate zones with an average temperature of 11 to 15 degrees Celsius, while a smaller proportion lives in zones with an average temperature of 20 to 25 degrees Celsius.
If global warming continues, billions of people could find themselves in a situation where the air temperature in their area is outside their climate comfort zone.
The actual number of people affected will depend on how fast the global population grows and the levels of carbon emissions
Tim Lenton, a climate specialist at the University of Exeter and co-author of the study, said the world’s population could grow most rapidly in places where it is already hot, such as Africa.
The study found that large parts of Africa, Asia, South America, and Australia are likely to increase their temperature similar to what 20 million people are already experiencing in places like the Sahara Desert where the annual average temperature is more than 28 degrees Celsius.
Given that countries that are not already among the richest are already in the hottest climate zones, billions of people will have limited access to shelter from the heat in the future.