Due to extreme heat: UN warns of uninhabitable areas

Status: 10/10/2022 1:40 PM

According to a UN report, entire regions of the world could be uninhabitable within a few decades if the effects of climate change are not mitigated. By the end of the century, heat will kill as many as cancer.

According to a report by the UN and the Red Cross, extreme heat waves will render entire regions of the world uninhabitable in just a few decades. If climate change continues as before, heatwaves in areas such as the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and South and Southwest Asia would exceed humans’ “physical and social boundaries,” the organizations warned when presenting a joint report in Geneva. . “Great suffering and loss of life” would be the consequences.

Steadily rising death toll expected

According to the report, heat waves are the greatest meteorological hazard in all regions for which reliable statistics are available. Thousands of people are affected by heat waves every year.

UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths and Secretary-General of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC), Jagan Cahpagain, said the number of deaths will increase year on year as climate change progresses. Experts predict that the number of deaths from extreme heat will be as high as the number of cancer deaths worldwide by the end of the century.

Poor countries hardest hit

“There are clear limits beyond which people exposed to extreme heat and humidity cannot survive,” the report says. If global warming continues as it has now, heatwaves would reach and exceed these limits in the coming decades.

The combined effects of heat, advancing urbanization and an aging society will increase the number of people in emerging countries at extra risk in the coming decades. Farm workers, children, the elderly, pregnant and breastfeeding women are at particularly high risk of illness and death. The effects were felt most strongly in those countries that were already suffering from hunger, conflict and poverty.

ICRC Secretary-General Chapagain called on participants at next month’s UN climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, to invest in measures to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.

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