This year's heat wave is hitting the Asian continent. In one of the affected countries, India, temperatures even reached 115 degrees Fahrenheit, or about 46.1 degrees Celsius. In fact, this is nothing new in India.
Heatwaves in India have continued to increase over the past 30 years, according to a study by the Met Division of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. CNN cited that this heat wave also killed more than 24,000 people during this period.
It is possible that this condition will worsen as the intensity of the heat wave increases. What makes the heat wave in India so hot?
Causes of high heat waves in India
According to Mahesh Palawat, vice president of meteorology and climate change at Skymet Weather Services, climate change is believed to be one of the causes of the heatwave in India.
“Global warming plays a big role in this, but there are several other factors at play as well,” he explained.
DS Pai, director of the Institute for Climate Studies in Kottayam, India, has a similar opinion. According to him, other causes of extreme temperature fluctuations in India include local weather conditions and other factors such as increased concretion, deforestation and changes in land use.
Most of the Indian regions surveyed experienced a heatwave lasting more than eight days. The affected areas also increased regionally between 1991 and 2020 compared to the previous three decades from 1961.
Climate change increases the likelihood of heatwaves in India by a hundredfold, according to a study from the University of Cambridge. Up to 90 percent of areas in India are affected by extreme heat.
“Long-term projections suggest that heatwaves in India could exceed the survival limits of healthy people seeking shelter by 2050,” the study said.
Apart from human health, the heatwave in India may also lead to power outages, increase air and dust pollution, and increase melting of glaciers in the northern Indian region.
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