Searing heat could make countries in North Africa and along the Persian Gulf unlivable
By Charlene Gubash
In the fertile Nile Delta, rising sea levels and a rising water table are already cutting into Egypt’s precious 4 percent of arable farmland. In the worst affected areas off the Mediterranean, up to 6.25 to 12.5 miles from the shoreline have already become saline.
The main problem that most people are talking about is inundation by sea level rise for the Nile Delta. There is another problem: saltwater intrusion,” said Mohamed Abdrabo, director of Alexandria Research Center for Adaptation to Climate Change.
In the muggy Arabian Gulf - which includes the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and Oman - the immediate risk of soaring heat and humidity overshadows the distant threat of rising sea levels. An MIT research team determined that future temperatures there and in southwest Asia will exceed the threshold for human survival if nations fail to reign in emissions.
According to an MIT video on the subject, “exposure to wet bulb temperatures above 35 C (95 F) is enough to cause the fittest to overheat and begin to fail.” Wet bulb temperature measures the combination of heat and humidity to determine how well the body can cool itself by sweating.
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