Extreme heat wave in South Asia ‘a sign of things to come’

New Delhi (AP) – The catastrophic heat wave that has hit India and Pakistan in recent months is more likely due to climate change and is a vision for the region’s future, international scientists said in a study released on Monday.

The World Meteorological Organization analyzes historical meteorological data, showing that early, long heat waves that affect a large geographical area are rare, century-old events. But the current state of global warming caused by man-made climate change, That increased the heat waves 30 times.

If global warming rises to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, such heat waves will occur twice a century and once every five years, said Arpita Mondel, a climate scientist at the Indian Institute. Technology in Mumbai, who was part of the study.

“This is a sign of things to come,” Montell said.

The results are conservative: An analysis released by the UK Meteorological Office last week suggested that the heat wave could be 100 times more intense due to climate change, with similar burning temperatures likely to recur every three years.

Global meteorological character analysis is different because it attempts to calculate how specific aspects of a heat wave, such as length and area impact, are largely generated by global warming. “The real result of how much of this event’s climate change has increased may be somewhere between our and (UK) meteorological office’s results,” said Frடdric Otto, a climate scientist at Imperial College London who was part of the study.

However, it is not certain what the catastrophe caused by the heat wave was. Temperatures in Indian cities and Pakistan have continued to hover above 45C (113F) in recent weeks. In Pakistan, temperatures as high as 50C (122F) have been reported in some places such as Jakobabad and Ore. Temperatures in some parts of the Indian capital, New Delhi, reached 49C (120F) this month.

See also  A NYC snowstorm? More snow expected Friday - NBC New York

India has been whitewashed in March, the hottest month in the country since records began in 1901, and was recorded in Pakistan and parts of India in April. The effects are layered and widespread: an iceberg erupts in Pakistan, Sending the flood down; Early heat burned wheat crops in IndiaRussia’s war in Ukraine has forced it to suspend exports to countries plagued by food shortages.; This reduced coal reserves in India due to the initial spike in electricity demandThe result is severe power shortages affecting millions.

Then there is the impact on human health. At least 90 people have died in both countries, but this may be a low number due to the lack of adequate death records in the region. According to a study by the Associated Press, South Asia is the most affected by heat stress In a database published by the School of Climate at Columbia University. More than a third of the world’s population lives in warmer climates in India alone.

Experts acknowledge that the heat wave not only combats climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but also underscores the need for rapid adaptation to its harmful effects. Children and the elderly are most at risk from heat stress, but its impact is greatest for the poor who have no access to cooling or water and often live in crowded slums that are warmer than leafy, rich environments.

Rahman Ali, 42, a rock picker in the eastern suburbs of the Indian capital New Delhi, earns less than $ 3 a day by collecting garbage from people’s homes and storing everything they can sell. It gives him a little respite from the heat of his tin roof house in the backyard work and crowded slums.

See also  Disney Calls Showrunners Back to (Non-Writing) Jobs - The Hollywood Reporter

“What can we do? If I do not work … we will not eat,” said the father of two.

Some Indian cities tried to find a solution. As early as 2013, the western city of Ahmedabad was the first city in South Asia to design a heat wave project for a population of more than 8.4 million. The project includes a pre-warning system to prepare health workers and residents for heat waves. , Empowering administrations to keep parks open for people to shade, and they can change their schedule by providing information to schools.

The city is experimenting with different materials and trying to “cool” the roofs by absorbing heat differently. Dr Dilip Mavalangar, head of the Indian Institute of Public Health in Gandhinagar, a western Indian city, said their aim was to create sun-reflecting and low-temperature roofs using inexpensive materials such as white, reflective paint or dried grass. Helped design the 2013 plan.

Most Indian cities are less prepared, and the federal government of India is now working with 130 cities in 23 heat-affected states to develop similar projects. Earlier this month, the federal government asked states to raise awareness among health workers about managing heat-related illnesses and to ensure the availability of ice cubes, oral rehydration salts and refrigeration equipment in hospitals.

But Mavalankar, who was not part of the study, pointed out that most Indian cities did not have government warnings in newspapers or on television, and that local administrations “did not wake up from the heat.”


The Associated Press is supported by the Department of Health and Science, Department of Science Education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. AP is solely responsible for all content.

See also  Christmas passengers were stranded as thousands of flights were canceled by Omigron forces


Associated Press Climate and environmental coverage receives support from a number of private foundations. See more about AP’s climate initiative Here. AP is solely responsible for all content.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *