The increased levels of Greenhouse Gasses (GHGs) in the atmosphere will result in increased near-surface air temperature and absolute humidity. These two factors increasingly pose a risk of heat stress to humans. The Wet-Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) is a widely used and validated index for assessing the environmental heat stress. Using the output from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) simulations of the four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs), we calculated the global and regional changes in WBGT. Globally, the WBGT is projected to increase by 0.6–1.7 °C for RCP 2.6 and 2.37–4.4 °C for RCP 8.5. At the regional scale, our analysis suggests a disproportionate increase in the WBGT over northern India, China, northern Australia, Africa, Central America and Southeast Asia. An increase in WBGT has consequences not only on human health but also on social and economic factors. These consequences may be exacerbated in developing economies, which are less able to adapt to the changing environmental conditions.
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