Environment Society

Insufferable Heat

This is bleak:

The human cost of the climate crisis will hit harder, wider and sooner than previously believed, according to a study that shows a billion people will either be displaced or forced to endure insufferable heat for every additional 1C rise in the global temperature.

In a worst-case scenario of accelerating emissions, areas currently home to a third of the world’s population will be as hot as the hottest parts of the Sahara within 50 years, the paper warns. Even in the most optimistic outlook, 1.2 billion people will fall outside the comfortable “climate niche” in which humans have thrived for at least 6,000 years.

The authors of the study said they were “floored” and “blown away” by the findings because they had not expected our species to be so vulnerable.


The rate of change is far beyond what any species can cope with. What will everyone do? How will we cope with mass migration on a scale never before seen in recorded history?

We need to ensure this doesn’t happen. At times I’m not particularly hopeful, given human nature as this 1967 episode of ‘Quartermass’ predicted.

Quatermass (1967) predicts reaction to climate change