Top urban news, trends and reports curated for the world’s city leaders. Edited by David Hatch

Will soaring temps make Dubai uninhabitable?

First-time visitors to Dubai are often struck by the dearth of pedestrians on the streets — and the vast network of enclosed malls and walkways. In the future, there may be even more reason to stay inside, Maurice Picow reports for Green Prophet.

Searing heat could make Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Baghadad and other cities in the Persian Gulf region uninhabitable by century’s end, Picow says. Fueled by climate change, overdevelopment and damage to fragile ecosystems, temperatures are soaring regionally to record levels, he writes. The result is a phenomenon called a “heat dome” that could threaten human survival. Last year, this effect caused temperatures in parts of Saudi Arabia to rise to 80 degrees Celsius (178 degrees Fahrenheit).

The extreme temperatures perpetuate a cycle that worsens the situation. As people stay indoors longer, they run more air conditioning, resulting in more emissions that contribute to warming. “In eighty-five years the region will not be fit for human habitation,” Picow bluntly concludes.

Green Prophet

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