Rajasthan would probably not have suffocated if it weren’t for the human species. The heatwave that hit India and Pakistan in March-April has been made 30 times more likely by human-caused climate change, scientists said in a study published Monday (May 23).
In our world, where the average temperature has risen by 1.2°C from pre-industrial levels, an event of this intensity is likely to occur every 100 years today. explain the scientists of the World Weather Attribution (WWA)the network of scientists pioneering the attribution of extreme events to climate change.
Without anthropogenic climate change, the probability would be once in 3,000 years, explained Friederike Otto from the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London. And in a world where global warming would reach +2°C, that probability could suddenly increase every…five years.
While India and Pakistan have been no strangers to high temperatures, the precocity and intensity of this heatwave well ahead of the monsoon is exceptional, says the WWA, which has focused on March and April highs in north-west India and southern Pakistan.
“Across much of both countries, people have seen little recovery for weeks, with a particularly high cost for hundreds of millions of people working outdoors. We know that as temperatures rise, this will happen more often and we need to prepare better”warned Krishna AchutaRao of the Center for Atmospheric Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi.
This heat wave killed 90 people and caused power outages and water shortages for millions of residents. Since 2010, heat waves in India have claimed the lives of more than 6,500 people.
In Pakistan, temperatures reached 50°C again in mid-May in Jacobabad in the southern province of Sindh, while in India the temperature in Rajasthan exceeded 48°C. This heat was accompanied by a rainfall deficit, with March rainfall falling by 62% in Pakistan and 71% in India.
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