Sunday, 22 May 2011

Humidity increases will make more places inhabitable in the future


Some parts of the world will become inhabitable for people to live in the next centuries if the rising humidity will contribute significantly to increase heat stress in a warmer world.

That’s the view of Dr Steve Sherwood, the Co Director for Climate Change Research Centre at the University of the New South Wales.

Dr Sherwood said the increase in global warming will severely affect where people live and will make some places inhabitable to live.

“The humidity increases near the surfaces where people live, about 6 percent for every degrees Celsius of temperature increase, so if we have several degrees of global warming over the centuries for example we would expect about 20 percent in humidity.

“In places that are already very humid, I think will have a large impact on peoples happiness and productivity during the warm and wet seasons including in the Pacific islands. I’m not sure how severely the Pacific islands will be affected compared to the regions we focused on our study,” Dr Sherwood told PACNEWS.

Dr Sherwood said most of the places that are likely to be affected by the increase in humidity include the Amazon and India.

However, he said Pacific Islands will be less affected because of the ocean that surrounds the islands.

“We focused more on larger continental regions - the Amazon and India are places that will be badly affected. It won’t be quite as bad in the Pacific Islands because of the mitigating factor of having the ocean around which reduces the extremes but heat stress would still become a large problem because it always be there during the hard humid season.

He said Industrialised nations should curtail their emissions of Greenhouse gases to avert the situation in future.

“It’s out of the hands of the people living in those areas, they are not the one producing the pollution.

“This is very unfortunate  but the only solution from the global standpoint  is either to curtail rapidly the emissions of  Greenhouse gases and really to decide we are not going to burn much of the coal, and the oil sales and the so on, they have to be left on the ground,” Dr Sherwood said.

More than 400 delegates from around Australia and the Pacific are attending the Science of Climate Change, Greenhouse 2011 meeting underway in Cairns

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