Humans may not be able to survive in the Persian Gulf by 2045


Science!By  Nov. 9, 2015 1:31 pm
persian gulf
Humans are surprisingly hearty creatures — we can live above the arctic circle or in the most arid desserts. However, a new climate analysis published in Nature Climate Change suggests that rising temperatures could push humans out of the Persian Gulf region in just a few decades. This region is a major supplier of fossil fuels (which ironically led to this problem in the first place), so global consequences could be dire.
Previous climate models have predicted that temperatures wouldn’t reach the limits of human survivability until the distant future, but this new study takes a few more factors into account. The air temperature is a component of how well humans can thrive in an environment, but humidity is important as well. The combination of rising temperatures and increased humidity are what could push the limits of human survival.
climate gulf
The Persian Gulf is particularly vulnerable to the effects detailed in the paper. The region is in close proximity to shallow seas with a large surface area. The Persian Gulf itself is relatively shallow compared to other ocean inlets, allowing it to absorb more heat. This effect was evaluated with two common greenhouse gas concentration scenarios. One assumes little to no adjustment is made in in our emissions and the other includes measures taken to reduce the production of greenhouse gasses.
In the scenario in which we don’t try to limit emissions, climate in the countries of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Dubai, and the United Arab Emirates become dangerous to humans in about 30 years. Development in this region would be limited, and human health would be seriously impaired by the high risk of heat stroke and respiratory issues. If we can level off global greenhouse gas concentrations over the next several decades, the extreme increases in heat should be vastly reduced in the Persian Gulf. Only a few areas see noticeable increases under this model, and they’re not very hospitable even now.