Abu Dhabi: UAE weather officials on Sunday said residents should interpret with caution recent study findings suggesting that Gulf cities will be too hot to live in.

Abdullah Al Mandoos, executive director of the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS), questioned research released late October about future weather in Southeast Asia which led scientists to claim the Gulf would be unbearable to live in by 2070 due to hot conditions.

On the contrary, other studies have suggested that cities in the Gulf will not be so alarmingly hot, he said.

For example, according to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), temperatures will increase between 0.3-4.8 degrees Celsius by 2100 as a worst-case scenario, Al Mandoos said.

He added that all weather research in the world comes with uncertainty, as it is all based on future predictions and should be interpreted with caution. He added that society should not take to heart such reports based on assumptions and predictions that aim to create a buzz but are not based on scientific proof.

Al Mandoos explained that the IPCC weather calculated these expected changes through numerical climate models that simulate the physical processes that control the atmospheric system.

These models also take into account the changes in the temperatures above the Earth’s surface that already took place, as well as the melting of the ice sheets in the polar regions and the sea-level rise over the past few decades, he said.

The IPCC reports, he said, are an accredited and trusted reference used by the United Nations in climate change issues.

He also explained that researchers, who use these numerical climate models in climate-related research that aim to predict future changes, detail a criteria and specific conditions on which they base their studies, and such studies need to be interpreted within that framework or they would carry no truth.

The response from the National Centre of Meterology and Seismology follows a study in late October that predicted the Arabian Gulf and parts of Iran will suffer heatwaves beyond the limit of human survival if climate change is unchecked.

The study claimed that extreme heatwaves will affect Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha and coastal cities in Iran and will pose a deadly threat to millions of pilgrims in Saudi Arabia when the Haj falls in summer. The study shows the extreme heatwaves, more intense than anything ever experienced on Earth, would kick in after 2070 and that the hottest days of today would by then be a near-daily occurrence.

“Our results expose a specific regional hotspot where climate change, in the absence of significant [carbon cuts], is likely to severely impact human habitability in the future,” said Prof Jeremy Pal and Prof Elfatih Eltahir, both at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, writing in the journal Nature Climate Change.

They said the future climate for many locations in the Gulf would be like today’s extreme climate in the desert of Northern Afar, on the African side of the Red Sea, where there are no permanent human settlements at all. But the research also showed that cutting greenhouse gas emissions now could avoid this fate.