May 02, 2016
Middle East To Become Too Hot To Live In?

Too hot to handle: Climate-exodus expected in the Middle East and North Africa: Part of the Middle East and North Africa may become uninhabitable due to climate change

Lelieveld and his colleagues have investigated how temperatures will develop in the Middle East and North Africa over the course of the 21st century. The result is deeply alarming: Even if Earth's temperature were to increase on average only by two degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times, the temperature in summer in these regions will increase more than twofold. By mid-century, during the warmest periods, temperatures will not fall below 30 degrees at night, and during daytime they could rise to 46 degrees Celsius (approximately 114 degrees Fahrenheit). By the end of the century, midday temperatures on hot days could even climb to 50 degrees Celsius (approximately 122 degrees Fahrenheit). Another finding: Heat waves could occur ten times more often than they do now. By mid-century, 80 instead of 16 extremely hot days In addition, the duration of heat waves in North Africa and the Middle East will prolong dramatically. Between 1986 and 2005, it was very hot for an average period of about 16 days, by mid-century it will be unusually hot for 80 days per year. At the end of the century, up to 118 days could be unusually hot, even if greenhouse gas emissions decline again after 2040.

What I wonder: How hard would it be to boost the albedo of a large enough portion of the Arabian peninsula or North Africa to substantially lower temperatures?

Alternatively, picture massive underground cities deep enough to be cool whatever the temperature on the surface. The cities would be powered by solar panels.

Another idea: how about using the power from solar panels along coast lines to spray sea water up into the atmosphere to cause could formation and rain? Could this cause substantial cooling?

Will the affected countries just crumble? Or will they get enough resources together to engage in climate engineering and avoid collapse of their societies?

Share |      Randall Parker, 2016 May 02 09:55 PM 

Spandan Sharma said at May 2, 2016 11:08 PM:

Perhaps Mr. Lelieveld and his colleagues should visit Ahmedabad...Temperatures above 30 degrees at night and reaching 46 during the day during the warmest period of the year? It's already happening, screw "by midcentury"!

Brett Bellmore said at May 3, 2016 3:16 AM:

This again. As I understand it, the actual processes involved in global warming are supposed to raise winter temperatures more than summer, and night more than day. As anyone with a grasp of thermodynamics understands, radiative heat transfer goes up as the 4th power of temperature, so each added degree of warming requires more energy than the prior degree.

So, even if the average temperature of the Earth goes up 2 degrees, this is mostly due to the cold places warming, and winters and nights warming.

Increased summertime, daytime temperatures in already hot locations would, at most, be a second order effect.

Furthermore, the reason that desert areas tend to have extreme temperature swings, is that the dry air doesn't block infrared; Water, not CO2, is Earth's chief greenhouse gas. Predictions for large scale warming, in fact, generally are based on the assumption that a little warming from added CO2 will cause water to evaporate, increasing water based greenhouse effects.

The atmosphere being dry over deserts implies they don't get this added warming.

Placebo said at May 3, 2016 9:24 AM:

Brett: Thank you!

B.B. said at May 3, 2016 9:48 AM:

Maybe they should just reduce their high birth rates.

jp straley said at May 4, 2016 4:58 AM:

The Atmospheric Vortex Engine could play an interesting role in moving hot surface air much higher in the atmosphere. Just the adiabatic cooling should be enough to induce rain, and the convective cooling of the air moved much higher ought to have the desired climatic effect.

These machines do take a few acres to build...but that's not such a problem in the overheated zones.

Those interested: use "AVE" as the search term.

JP Straley

Simo said at May 13, 2016 12:57 AM:

Israel already produces half of its water by desalination plants, but Islamic & Arab states don't have sufficient administrative and engineering capacity - they are too corrupted, sectarian and incompetent to resists climate change effects.

Making them colonies of the civilized nations would guarantee them better standard of living (colony-style democratic control of rulers from faraway countries would be worse than Western-style native constitutional democracy which respects minority rights and guarantees equality in front of law; but colony-style democratic control of rulers from faraway countries would still be better than the current future - drought, famine and ethnic wars.), but I guess that the proud people in there would rather see their nations crumble than become Hong Kong-style colonial populations.

David Friedman said at June 1, 2016 6:46 PM:

Do the authors have a track record on their past predictions? There is a large gap between "a paper says" and "there is good reason to believe."

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