Millions of Muslim undertaking the obligatory pilgrimage to Mecca will be increasingly exposed to extremely dangerous heat levels due to climate change in the years and decades to come, a new study by the American Geophysical Union found.
“Future climate change, with and without mitigation, will elevate heat stress to levels that exceed [an] extreme danger threshold through 2020 and during the periods of 2047 to 2052 and 2079 to 2086, with increasing frequency and intensity as the century progresses,” said the report released on Thursday.
Temperatures recorded by a Mecca meteorological station, it noted, have increased two degrees Celsius over the past three decades, an increase “well above” the global average.
The hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, is one of the five pillars of Islam which every Muslim should undertake once in their lifetime. For many people, especially those with limited means, that event comes late in life, when they will also be more affected by extreme heat.
Source: Asia Times