Extreme heat may affect 1 billion people in the next few years | WH3 – System 103 – Ray Light Radio – Pioneer Radio

Extreme heat may affect 1 billion people in the next few years |  WH3 - System 103 - Ray Light Radio - Pioneer Radio

A study released by the Met Office, the UK’s meteorological service, has warned that at least a billion people, including a large part of Brazil, could be affected by extreme heat if global temperatures rise by two degrees Celsius.

According to the text, the planet could reach dangerous and deadly levels of temperature in the future if the warming trend follows its current path without taking measures to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“The number of people living in areas affected by extreme heat stress is rising from 68 million today to about one billion,” the study says.

The topic was also presented during COP26 (United Nations Conference on Climate Change). The main goal of the climate summit is to limit global warming to 1.5°C, but delegates cautioned that “a lot of work” needs to be done to reach that goal.

The study warns that an increase of 4 degrees Celsius “could cause nearly half of the world’s population to live in potentially affected areas.”

Understanding the so-called “heat stress”

According to the study, heat stress is defined as a global temperature of the so-called wet bulb (the international standard for measuring heat stress that people are exposed to) above 32°C, a scale that evaluates a combination of factors such as temperature, humidity, wind speed and solar radiation.

Affected areas as per survey – # 8211; Photo: Met Office / Reproduction

Affected areas according to the survey – Photo: Met Office / Reproduction
When this scale reaches 35 degrees Celsius, the human body cannot cool down with sweat and even healthy people in the shade can die in just six hours.

In these circumstances, the study warns that people who are exposed to such extreme heat stress can experience heat exhaustion and symptoms that include heavy sweating and a rapid pulse.

Above this level, people are in grave danger. Vulnerable members of the population and those who work outdoors are at greater risk for adverse health effects. Currently, the scale is used in many places, such as regions in India, but our analysis shows that with a 4°C increase, the risk of extreme heat could affect people over large areas of most of the world’s continents,” explains Andy Hartley, President of the Met Office Climate Impact.


In the summer of 2020, about a quarter of the US population experienced the effects of extreme heat, with symptoms including nausea and cramping. At least 166,000 people died from heat waves in the two decades to 2017, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Met Office study is based on research from the European Union-funded Helix project, which also identifies increased risks of floods, wildfires, drought and food insecurity.

“The new joint analysis shows the urgent need to limit global warming to well below 2°C. The greater the warming, the more serious and widespread the dangers to people’s lives will be.” Richard Bates, MBE from the University of Exeter and the Met Office said: Avoid these big risks if we act now.”

Affected countries

Tropical countries, including Brazil, are the hardest hit by severe heat stress. Albert Klein Tank, director of the Met Office Hadley Center, cautioned that this research shows that many regions of the world are expected to have the most serious impacts.

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Affected areas according to the survey – Photo: Met Office / Reproduction

“However, all regions of the world – including the UK and Europe – are expected to be constantly affected by climate change,” he added.

Are there any risks in SC?

The ND+ report sought a specialist to explain the situation and to ask whether Santa Catarina was also at risk of encountering this phenomenon. In the opinion of meteorologist Peter Scheuer, there is no cause for concern in the state.
“The atmosphere is in constant equilibrium. It may happen that we have some unusual warm-up periods and periods where you have more cool-down. The atmosphere is trying to make up for what we had in the past. For example, if we have a very high peak temperature, if we have The peak of the cold is too long, says the professional.

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