By 2070, 3.5 billion people will suffer from almost unbearable heat. Most of them fall on the poor who cannot afford the purchase and installation of air conditioners, according to a study by scientists at the University of Wageningen. The work was published in the journal PNAS.
Due to the fact that the average annual temperature in the world will increase by 1.8°C by 2100 due to anthropogenic climate change, several tens of billions of people around the world will live in areas where efficient air cooling technologies will be required for normal existence – for example, air conditioners.
At the same time, from 2 to 3.5 billion people will not be able to afford the purchase and installation of air conditioners. According to the authors of the study, the exact number of people in this group will depend on the volume of carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to climate change, as well as on the growth rate of the world population. At the same time, researchers note that this category will account for about a third of the world’s population projected for 2070.
Now about 20 million people live in places with an average annual temperature exceeding 29 ° C, which is much higher than comfortable for humans. So far, this area accounts for about 1% of the earth’s surface – it includes the Sahara desert and Saudi Arabia.
However, as the global temperature rises, the area of this zone will grow – according to scientists, it will also include some regions of Africa, Asia, South America, and Australia.