The study, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, looked at the impact of climate change on “heat extremes” and revealed that increasingly severe heatwaves will occur more frequently over the coming decades.
Conditions currently considered “extreme” will become the “new normal” throughout the summer months, according to researchers.
The scientists contended that nothing can be done about this change in temperature, as it is already locked into the climate system.
Emission reductions ‘could affect post-2040 climate’
However, the post-2040 climate could be affected by whether or not nations around the world manage to cut their greenhouse gas emissions in line with agreed targets.
This depends on more green initiatives, such as better insulation and the installation of energy efficient devices in homes, being put in place to cut carbon emissions, as well as a greater emphasis on renewable energy generators such as wind farms and solar panels.
If targets are not met by the end of the century, 85% of land mass could be subjected to extreme heatwaves during the summer months.
Heatwaves affect environment and increase mortality rate
Not only would this make summer months extremely uncomfortable, but extreme heatwaves can also damage crop production, make droughts worse, increase the risk of forest fires and raise death rates in cities.
These findings were publicised as green campaigners are calling for governments to implement more stringent climate resilience strategies, after research from Newcastle University showed that many cities in the UK are not prepared for worsening weather conditions.