0949 GMT December 14, 2019
In 2015, a heatwave hit India and Pakistan so hard it claimed the lives of 3,500 people in what was the fifth deadliest heatwave ever experienced, according to express.co.uk.
By the end of this century, researchers warn such scenes will become scarily common across all of Southeast Asia and Oceana where more than a fifth of the global population currently live.
While searing temperatures are bad enough, researchers suggest the humidity which comes with it will make heat stress worse as the body is prone to overheat in high humidity.
Professor Lidia Mayner, of Flinders University’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences, said, “If you have high humidity, the body will not perspire.
“Normally this will help keep you cool, but with high humidity that simply doesn’t happen.”
Wet bulb temperatures — which combine humidity, heat and the ability to cope with both — will reach the survivability threshold across Southeast Asia by the end of the century, according to a study published in the journal Science Advances.
The researchers wrote, “The increase in humid heat raises important questions of environmental justice in agricultural areas where the inhabitants — the majority of whom work outdoors and have poor access to air conditioning — are most vulnerable.”
But it is not just the affect that it will have on the body that would be destructive.
The scientists state that food production will be damaged as a result, which could also lead to famine.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Professor of Environmental Engineering Elfatih Eltahir said, "With the disruption to the agricultural production, it doesn't need to be the heat wave itself that kills people.
“Production will go down, so potentially everyone will suffer."