High temperatures can kill a person in a number of ways, and each year reports of an elderly individual dying during a heat wave makes the headlines in South Korea.
However, such incidents could become a regular occurrence with summers set to be filled with killer heatwaves by 2100, should carbon dioxide emissions increase at the current rate, researchers warn.
According to research, led by Camilo Mora of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Seoul will have up to 67 days of deadly heat waves in 2100. The study estimated that there will be no days affected by lethal temperatures in Seoul in 2020, but the figure would rise to seven days in 2050, 35 days in 2075 before reaching the 2100 estimate.
Such heat waves have already occurred in various parts of the world, but the researchers say that they will become more and more frequent, and experienced across the globe.
The study, published in Nature Climate Change, also projected that 74 percent of the world would see such deadly conditions continue for a consecutive 20 days or more. Major heat waves that led to fatalities include the 2010 incident in Moscow, which is estimated to have killed 10,000 people or more, and the 1995 Chicago event that saw 700 people die from conditions caused by the heat.
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org)