“Everyone’s spoken for years about how poor countries are going to suffer more-or are suffering more-and I couldn’t find one figure actually showing this,” Nicholas Herold at the Climate Change Research Centre at the Universty of NSW said.than richer ones since
One reason for this was that until recent decades, large regions, particularly in Africa, had only limited instrumental monitoring.
However, using World Bank wealth definitions and targeting the numbers of days and nights that fell in the top 10% of temperatures for any Date. Dr Herold and fellow researchers found extreme heat readings have increased much faster in low-income nations than richer ones since at least the 1980s.
The researchers found that poorer nations were often located in the tropics and therefore already “close to the upper threshold for human comfort and that the percentage of hot days each year in low-income countries rose from a base of 10% or 37 days during the 1961-90 base period to 22% or 80 days by 2010.
By contrast, rich nations had the percentage of hot days rise much more slowly, from 10% to 15%, or 37 to 55 days.
“It’s not good for low-income or high income countries as they are the ones which can least afford to adapt,” Dr Herold said.
Poorer nations typically have far smaller accumulated or annual per-capita greenhouse gas emissions than industrialised ones. With the uneven warming trends likely to continue, poor nations have a case for demanding rich world assistance to cope with climate change.
Poor countries have “contributed the least but in terms of temperature effect they will suffer the most.”