Asia Minute: Dire Weather Predictions for South Asia

Aug 3, 2017

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Climate change is already forcing adjustments in peoples’ lives in the Asia Pacific. Small islands are among the first areas to feel the impact, but a study out this week says the effects of extreme weather are threatening other parts of the region. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.


Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are out with some dire predictions for South Asia the part of the world that includes the Indian subcontinent.

The latest research from MIT says climate change could make much of South Asia too hot for human survival—by the end of this century.

That conclusion was based on computer modeling that assumes no change in greenhouse gas emissions.

Right now, about 2 percent of India’s population suffers extreme combinations of heat and humidity at some point during the year.

According to the study, that could increase to 70 percent of the country’s population by the year 2100 with heatwaves becoming more frequent and more intense.

South Asia is home to about one-fifth of the world’s population, but extreme weather may eventually force climate migration.

According to work done for the Thomson Reuters foundation, at least one city in western India has already adopted a “heat action plan” for extreme weather.

The work in Ahmedabad includes mapping particularly vulnerable populations in the city and setting up “cooling spaces” in public buildings including shopping malls and temples.

The research was published in the journal Science Advances.