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How hot could Earth get before it’s uninhabitable for humans?

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With global warming a hot topic of debate, you may be surprised by how close our heat threshold is to the current global temperature.

Asked by: Jacob Hipkiss, Southwell

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Humans need to sweat to survive in warm conditions, and that’s only possible if the combination of temperature and humidity – known as the wet-bulb temperature – stays below around 35°C. According to a 2012 study by scientists at MIT, this limit could be reached globally if our planet warms by around 12°C. Fortunately, few scientists think global warming will do this in the foreseeable future.


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Authors

Robert is a science writer and visiting professor of science at Aston University.

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