The heat wave has increased the risk of fires in recent days, threatened crop yields, and even increased the melting of some glaciers. While extreme heat is not unusual for this part of the world, scientists say conditions have been made worse by climate change.
“Heatwaves are occurring more frequently now and are spreading throughout the year,” Amir Agakushak, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, said in an email. “This is the new normal and is likely to get worse in the future unless we take serious action.”
The Indian Meteorological Department He put much of that nation under ‘heat watch’ over the weekend, with some locations like Madhya Pradesh in the center of the country being one step higher on ‘heat alert’.
Temperatures in this episode are expected to peak over the next few days, although the high temperature regime over the Indian subcontinent appears well established, with little meaningful relief on the horizon.
Most of India and a large area of Pakistan spent Thursday in sweltering temperatures ranging from 104 to 113 degrees (40 and 45 degrees Celsius). between In the two countries, nearly a billion people were roasted under these unusual temperatures.
More than thirty locations in India recorded temperatures of 113 degrees (45 degrees Celsius) or more, including the sprawling capital Delhi, where readings soared to 115 degrees (46 degrees Celsius) at the sports complex. Its official high was 110.3 degrees (43.5 degrees Celsius), the highest April temperature in 12 years, According to the India Times.
The heat may rise more on Friday and Saturday, with little rest at night.
Temperatures are expected to reach 110 degrees (43 degrees Celsius) or higher on Friday across central India, including the city of Nagpur. Another region with similar temperatures is expected in northern and eastern India from near Delhi, extending southeast through much of Uttar Pradesh, and towards the Jharkhand border near the coast.
Similar conditions are likely to occur on Saturday and Sunday, with some slight easing after that.
Pakistan will likely end up with the hottest temperatures overall. Some locations north of the capital, Karachi, may reach 120° (49°C) or higher over the weekend. Forecasting to Jacobabadknown as One of the hottest cities On Earth, it reaches 122 degrees (50 degrees Celsius), which can test key records.
According to Maximiliano Herrera, an expert on extreme weather conditions in the world, the highest temperature for the month of April in India is 118.9 degrees (48.3 degrees Celsius), reached in Barmer during 1958. The temperature of Pakistani Nawabsha, about two hours inland from the Arabian Sea, was 122.4 degrees (50.2 °C) four years ago.
Today, April 28, is the third day of a heat wave in India, Pakistan and Central Asia. The highest temperature was 47.5°C in Dadu, Pakistan. In India 45.8 °C in Daltonganj. In Central Asia above 38 degrees Celsius is encoded in Uzbekistan. The next three days will be the hottest, and temperatures will be at record levels. pic.twitter.com/0lvfGkw75b
– Extreme temperatures around the world (extremetemps) April 28, 2022
The intense heat caused major power disturbances, Described as the worst in years. Much of rural India lacks air conditioning. Unprecedented heat waves at the start of the season are causing major health concerns in a country accustomed to the dangers of hot conditions.
“The unfortunate truth is that the most vulnerable are the most affected,” Agakushak said. “Lack of access to air conditioning, which is more common in poor and underserved communities, greatly increases the likelihood of heat stroke and heat wave causing death.”
Even without extreme heat waves, AghaKouchak found that even moderate increases in temperature can dramatically increase death rates. Over the past five decades, about 0.92° (0.5°C) of warming has occurred has increased The probability of heat-related death events of more than 100 people is 146 percent.
Most of these risks are caused by increased temperatures during the night. Temperatures usually tend to drop at night, giving our bodies a chance to cool off, Agha Koshak said. Without this cooling down, prolonged heat increases the risk of heat stress, convulsions, strokes, and even death.
“While we typically look at daily maximum temperatures, nighttime temperatures are also important for human health. Nighttime heat waves have increased significantly in densely populated areas of India,” he and colleagues said. found previously The warmest nights from 1981 to 2013 have warmed by 0.92 degrees (0.51 degrees Celsius) per decade.
Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, also said The high temperatures increased the risk of fires across the country. Only in the past few days, satellites have detected a significant increase in hotspots of fires, especially in the northern part of the country. A fire at a landfill outside New Delhi released toxic fumes, prompting a nearby school to close on Tuesday.
Waves of heat are also relentless Impact on the harvest. Wheat has been reported to be 20 percent below 2021 values in parts of the country this year. The decline is mainly attributed to constant temperatures above 104 degrees (40 degrees Celsius) across Punjab – the country’s breadbasket – during the growing season.
Significantly reduced yield Because of crops that ripened very quickly and with grain due to early heat. It comes at a time when India has been hoping to fill in some of the gaps in the global market, such as those created by Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine.
There are also concerns that the heat wave is rapidly melting glaciers, which could lead to flashing and flooding in rivers, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department.
While India often experiences bouts of extreme heat, research shows that the frequency, duration, and severity have increased with rising global temperatures.
a February study She revealed that human activity played a greater role than natural causes, noting that “human factors caused a twofold increase in the likelihood of severe heat waves in central and southern India during the twentieth century.” The risks of heat waves are expected to increase tenfold during the 21st century under some future climate change scenarios as well.
“The intense heat wave hitting India this week comes on top of the 1 degree Celsius warming that country has already experienced,” chirp Zeke Hausfather is a climate researcher at Stripe, a global technology company. “According to the current emissions pathway (SSP2-4.5), India is on track for a warming of 3.5°C by the end of the century.”
It has been hot over India and the heat wave is expected to continue with severe effects. A heat wave that would have been rare without climate change but is, like heat waves around the world, is now more common and will become more and more as we burn fossil fuels. pic.twitter.com/bE1O8wMMsQ
Dr. FrediOtto 26 April 2022
Hypertension “heat domes“Like those that have persisted in India in recent months, it has been found to be much more common and more intense than in the past. Similar standard temperature Preps occurred in the Pacific Northwest during 2021, among other recent cases worldwide.
Temperatures tend to peak in India during April and May, or just before the rainy season—a seasonal shift in winds called the monsoon—begins. More cloudy and rainy monsoon conditions It typically sweeps across the northern and western Indian Ocean by late May through early summer, and persists until early fall.
While readings are expected to dip somewhat after this weekend, there are signs of a resurgence after that.