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Open AccessArticle

Projected Changes in Wet-Bulb Globe Temperature under Alternative Climate Scenarios

1
CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
2
Centre for Supply Chain and Logistics, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment, Deakin University, Melbourne Burwood Campus, Burwood, VIC 3125, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 187; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050187
Received: 6 April 2018 / Revised: 11 May 2018 / Accepted: 14 May 2018 / Published: 15 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Meteorology)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: wet-bulb globe temperature; representative concentration pathways; heat stress wet-bulb globe temperature; representative concentration pathways; heat stress
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Newth, D.; Gunasekera, D. Projected Changes in Wet-Bulb Globe Temperature under Alternative Climate Scenarios. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 187.

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