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Mega Cities To Suffer Most Due To Rising Temperatures, Heat Waves To Assault Urban Poor And Rich Alike

Hot Sun.Janice Waltzer/Flickr

Thanks to global warming, the planet’s temperature continues to rise despite the best attempts of countries trying to curtail the effects of carbon emissions. In a recent study, researchers have found that this rising temperature will result in more severe and more frequent heat waves. These would then be concentrated most in Mega Cities with a huge population.

The study was conducted by the University of California, Irvine researchers, who collected data from over 9,000 weather stations all over the world. According to their findings, global temperatures have increased by at least 0.19 degrees Celsius per decade over the past 50 years. The last 30 years have been particularly severe, with a rise of 0.25 degrees Celsius each decade during that time span.

As a result, the team concluded in the paper they published in the journal Earth’s Future that urban cities with a concentrated level of the population are going to see spikes in heat waves. Many of these are located in Europe, Australia, and Asia. As the study’s lead, Simon Michael Papalexiou told the Thomas Reuters Foundation, these heat waves are going to disproportionately affect the poor.

“There are more than a billion people living in extreme poverty, with many of them living in mega cities and large urban centers,” Papalexiou said. “Most such people have no access to air conditioning or other alternatives to protect themselves.”

Over the years, devastating heatwaves have been known to cause thousands of deaths due to dehydration, heat strokes, and hypertension. While the expected rise in these events are going to apply to everyone living in major metropolitan areas, those unable to find appropriate shelter are going to suffer the most.

Some countries have started initiatives to have certain institutions install air-conditioning in common areas. Unfortunately, this is not an option for a lot of the poorer nations.

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