An expert has warned that Gulf countries are at risk of being uninhabitable by humans as climate change continues to heat the earth.

The temperatures in the coastal areas of the region regularly top 40 degrees Celcius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), which is worsened by their high humidity.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) showed through their report published earlier this month that climate change has progressed faster than previously calculated thanks to human activity.

“In general, the level of heat stress will increase significantly,” said Elfatih Eltahir, a professor of hydrology and climate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He warned that the increase of temperatures and humidity towards the end of this century would bring periods of “heat stress conditions that will be incompatible with human survival” to the Gulf.

“That will not happen all the time, they will be episodes that would happen once or twice every seven years,” he added.

The combination of heat and high humidity is deadly for humans as it prevents the body to cool off through sweating.

It has been calculated that a healthy human adult will die of heat if exposed to “wet-bulb” temperatures (TW) over 35 Celcius for six hours.

US researchers reported last year that Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates had had records of the 35 degrees Celsius TW threshold being breached more than once, albeit briefly.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private land-grant research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Established in 1861, (wikipedia)

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Effects of climate change

The effects of climate change span the physical environment, ecosystems and human societies. They also include the economic and social changes which stem from living in a warmer world. (wikipedia)

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is the capital and the second-most populous city of the United Arab Emirates . The city of Abu Dhabi is located on an island in the Persian Gulf, off the Central West Coast. (wikipedia)

Climate change

Climate change includes both global warming driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. (wikipedia)