February 2, 2023

India has seen months of extreme heat and this week it will only get hotter

3 min read

The worst heat wave is expected this weekend, with temperatures reaching 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit (5-8 degrees Celsius) above normal in northern and northwestern India, as well as parts of Pakistan. Is.

More than a billion people will suffer from excessive heat – according to 10% of the world’s population Scott DuncanAn extreme meteorologist.

The region, including New Delhi, can withstand temperatures ranging from moderate to upper 40 degrees Celsius – which means temperatures above 110 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit are possible.

And unfortunately, this heat will sleep.

Extreme temperatures at night can be deadly.

There will be little relief during the night as the minimum temperature in many areas will not drop below 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius).

Long durations of hot nights can be fatal as they limit the body’s ability to recover from the heat of the day.

This poses a major problem for the Indian population as a large portion of the population lives without air conditioning, creating a life threatening situation, especially for the elderly.

A man carries a fan during a heat wave in Kolkata, India.

The Indian city of Behmer already recorded a high of 45.1 degrees Celsius – 113 degrees Fahrenheit – on Tuesday.

On the same day, a Pakistani station equaled the record for the highest temperature in the Northern Hemisphere at 116.6 degrees Fahrenheit (47 Celsius). Maximiliano HerreraClimate Extreme Specialist.

Extremely hot March breaks 122-year-old temperature record

Temperatures were consistently above average for March and April, moving toward the current extreme swelling.

In March 2022, the average maximum temperature for India as a whole was the highest recorded in the last 122 years. Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

The average March high this year was 91.58 degrees Fahrenheit (33.10 Celsius), barely breaking the previous record of 91.56 degrees Fahrenheit (33.09 Celsius) in 2010.

A girl selling water during a heat wave in New Delhi, India, uses an umbrella to protect herself from the sun.

According to the Center for Science and Environment (CSE), since March 11, heat waves have affected 15 Indian states and Union Territories, adding that “Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are among the states most affected. There have been 25 heat waves and intense heat waves during each of these days. “

The pattern of pressure associated with the situation in La Nina, which currently presides over the Pacific Ocean, persists longer than expected. According to Raghu Martagode, a meteorologist at the University of Maryland, this, along with the warm waves coming from the Arctic, caused the formation of heat waves.

Murtagode added that the current effect of La Nina on spring and summer seasons in India is completely unpredictable.

In the scorching heat of the afternoon in Mumbai, India, two young girls walk and cover their heads while drinking water.

April and May, also known as the pre-monsoon season, are usually the warmest months of the year when the region backs off indefinitely.

This heat will persist in the summer months if it is not for the cloud cover and rainfall provided by the monsoon season.

Relief, though welcome, comes slowly.

Of Monsoon seasonWhich brings much needed rainfall and cool temperatures in India, usually starting in early June in the southern part of the country.

However, it takes more than a month for relief to reach those places in northern India, where a severe heat wave is currently being witnessed.

According to the IMD, on the bright side, the models show that the monsoon seasonal rainfall is likely to be 99% of the normal rainfall.

Monsoons are important for the region as they provide much of the annual rainfall to India, help in irrigation for agriculture, and provide relief from the intense heat waves during the pre-monsoon season.

India’s heat waves will get worse.

Like many other extreme weather events, heat waves will become increasingly intense. Climate change.

“Despite significant mitigation of climate change, the future of heat waves looks bleak, and much worse without mitigation,” said Al-Fatih al-Tahir, professor of hydrology and climate at MIT.

According to the United Nations Climate Change Authority, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), India is one of the countries most affected by the effects of the climate crisis.

India's change in monsoon rains could have serious consequences for more than a billion people
the latest Status of Science Report from IPCC In August 2021, it was noted with “extreme confidence” that warmer extremes have increased in South Asia, and that the cause of the extreme temperature rise is man-made climate change.

It states that “India is likely to experience more intense heat waves and higher frequencies over a longer period of time.”

Without change, a potential humanitarian crisis could continue across India as large parts of the country could become too hot to be able to live.

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