The devastating effects of a killer combination made of humid-heat waves is already ravaging the world these days. Climate studies have been suggesting that extreme impacts are still some decades away, but it seems that all this is closer than previously believed.
A new report that’s been just released the other day by The Earth Institute at Columbia University showed that the combination of extreme heat and humidity once believed to have never been experienced by humans, is already happening as we speak.
This extreme weather mix is often fatal, and this is surpassing the theoretical threshold of human survivability, and it will test our limits into the future more and more.
Such high temperatures mixed with massive humidity resulted in huge death tolls so far. These events become more common and more intense as a result of the warming planet.
“Climate change is increasing both air temperatures and the amount of moisture in the air, making humid heat events more frequent and severe” Radley Horton, a Columbia University research scientist and co-author of this study told CNN Weather.
Temperature and humidity spikes occur in hours
This study we mentioned above is a special one because it looked straight at the hourly data that’s been captured by almost 8,000 weather stations.
It’s important to note that since the temperature and humidity spikes can occur in a few hours and in specific locations only, the previous studies have failed to capture the extreme nature of the heat stress.
“I was astonished by our findings,” the author of the study told CNN Weather. “My previously published study projected that these conditions would not take hold until later in the century.”
“We may be at a closer tipping point than we think,” Horton continued.
“Climate change is increasing both air temperatures and the amount of moisture in the air, making humid heat events more frequent and severe.”