Heat Wave To Make Persian Gulf Uninhabitable – Global Warming Will Render The Region Too Hot To Survive?

Alap Naik Desai

Heat in the Persian Gulf is expected to rise to unbearable levels if the current carbon dioxide emissions aren't curtailed.

Temperatures in the Persian Gulf have been steadily rising for the past few years due to global warming. If the present rate, at which carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are being spewed into the atmosphere, isn't controlled, multiple regions in the Middle East will become inhabitable.

Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and other pollutants trap heat and prevent it from escaping the confines of our atmosphere. This has steadily raised the temperatures in multiple regions of the world and threatened large numbers of plants and animals that might soon go extinct. Besides the heat wave, global warming could raise sea levels, drowning cities that are near the coast. In the case of the Persian Gulf, the heat will rise to such an extent that the region will become inhospitable, reported MSN.

According to numerous computer simulations that take in the present trend and estimate the temperature rise in the future, the heat index — which combines heat and humidity — may hit 165 to 170 degrees (74 to 77 Celsius) for at least six hours in the Persian Gulf.

The rise in heat is dangerous because at these levels, the human body is unable to repel or expel heat. In simple terms, the temperatures will render all natural methods of cooling down useless. Heat waves have always hurt the ill, old, and infirm. However, the future is expected to be so hot that healthy people will threatened and may fall ill, cautioned study co-author Elfatih Eltahir, an MIT environmental engineering professor,

"You can go to a wet sauna and put the temperature up to 35 (Celsius or 95 degrees Fahrenheit) or so. You can bear it for a while; now think of that at an extended exposure of six or more hours. While humans have been around, Earth has not seen that type of prolonged, oppressive combination of heat and humidity. What we are talking about is significantly more severe than what people have experienced anywhere before."

Which areas in the Persian Gulf are at risk? U.A.E., Qatar, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia and several other countries routinely experience high temperatures. These regions regularly have summers during which the mercury rises above 100 degrees. Though majority of the population remains indoors, protected by air-conditioning, many workers in sectors like construction often work in scorching heat, though they often take a break and cease work during the afternoon, when the temperature becomes extreme. The same holds true for people in the impoverished regions of Yemen

The regions that will experience the worst of temperatures are Kuwait City and the city of Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates. These regions could see temperatures exceed 140 degrees Fahrenheit – so far the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth, reported Fox News. Qatar, which is set to host the 2022 World Cup too will be experiencing unbearable heat. Incidentally, the region has twice lost the bid over heat concerns since the game is played at stadiums without any air-conditioning.

The regions are at risk owing to the extremely hot air that flows in from the desert, meeting the moist air from the Gulf. The result is a mixture of hot and humid climate that significantly increases the heat index, which is often described subjectively as "how hot it feels" as against the statistical indication "how hot it actually is".

[Photo by David McNew / Getty Images]