Seemingly all of the major news media are breathlessly reporting today on a study claiming up to 3 billion people will live in “nearly unlivable” hot conditions by the year 2070. A look at the sham study, however, shows that if the study’s claims were correct, none of the Egyptian, Babylonian, Greek, or Roman empires could have existed. Instead, publicity-seeking pseudo-scientists realize that the easiest path to fame, glory, and media adulation is to make outrageous climate claims that bear no semblance to real-world climate or history.
If global warming continues unchecked, the heat that’s coming later this century in some parts of the world will bring “nearly unlivable” conditions for up to 3 billion people, a study released Monday said.
The authors predict that by 2070, much of the world’s population is likely to live in climate conditions that are “warmer than conditions deemed suitable for human life to flourish.”
The study warned that unless greenhouse gas emissions are curtailed, average annual temperatures will rise beyond the climate “niche” in which humans have thrived for 6,000 years.
That “niche” is equivalent to average yearly temperatures of roughly 52 to 59 Fahrenheit. The researchers found that people, despite all forms of innovations and migrations, have mostly lived in these climate conditions for several thousand years.
Serious glaring errors are immediately apparent. Scientists estimate the present average temperature of the Earth is 59 degrees Fahrenheit. Scientists, including scientists who published the very first UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, have long known that most of the past 6,000 years were warmer than today (see the IPCC chart below, found at pg. 202, here). So, according to the new study, any city that currently experiences temperatures above 59 degrees would similarly be “nearly unlivable” during earlier times. In fact, such cities would be even less livable in earlier times.
Rome, Italy, currently has an average temperature of 59.4 degrees. According to the new study, it therefore must be “nearly unlivable” and “warmer than conditions suitable for human life to flourish.” Tell that to the people in Rome, and the people from all over the world who vacation there, in part due to its ideal climate. If Rome has always been nearly unlivable and almost impossible for human life to flourish, how did the city of Rome form, grow, prosper, and support an entire empire?
Athens, Greece, currently has an average temperature of 63.7 degrees. This is well above the upper limit of temperatures the new study says is livable and suitable for human life to flourish. If Athens has always been nearly unlivable and almost impossible for human life to flourish, how did the city of Athens form, grow, prosper, and flourish as the heart of an entire empire?
Cairo, Egypt, currently has an average temperature of 71.2 degrees. This is more than 12 degrees above the upper limit of temperatures the new study says is livable and suitable for human life to flourish. If Cairo has always been nearly unlivable and almost impossible for human life to flourish, how did Egypt form, grow, prosper, and support an entire empire?
Baghdad, Iraq, near the ancient city of Babylon, currently has an average temperature of 73.2 degrees. This is more than 14 degrees above the upper limit of temperatures the new study says is livable and suitable for human life to flourish. If Baghdad/Babylon has always been nearly unlivable and almost impossible for human life to flourish, how did the city of Babylon form, grow, prosper, and flourish as the heart of an entire empire?
Here are some American cities, and their present average temperatures, for comparison:
- San Francisco, California: 57.3 degrees
- Los Angeles, California: 65.4 degrees
- San Diego, California: 65.5 degrees
- Hilton Head Island, South Carolina: 66 degrees
All of the above cities are considered to have a highly desirable climate. All but San Francisco have average temperatures well above 59 degrees. Even notoriously cool San Francisco is very close to being an “unlivable” hot city, according to the study. Obviously, most people would not consider San Francisco to be borderline too hot to live in.
Let’s take this a step further. Do the millions of people who choose to live in Phoenix, Arizona – many precisely because of its desirable climate – feel that its 75.1 degree average temperature is 16 degrees hotter than what is considered “livable”?
How about Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where millions of Americans dream of retiring? Is Ft. Lauderdale’s 76.5 degree average temperature unlivable?
The temperatures of cities that forged ancient empires and the temperatures of cities that today are considered to have ideal climate show that the new PNAS study is complete garbage. Media outlets that breathlessly and uncritically report on such a garbage study – including USA Today, the Washington Post, BBC News, and Yahoo News – are equally useless.
Ancient empires did exist, and their people flourished in temperatures much warmer than today.