Heat wave brings extreme temperatures in April to India and Pakistan

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to me second month Respectively, temperatures in India and Pakistan are abnormally high due to a series of strong and prolonged heat waves – and now another increase is increasing.

Temperatures have already risen to dangerously high levels. And they crossed 110 degrees in the Indian capital, Delhi, on Thursday and Friday, where The sidewalk melted in the heatWhile several cities broke records for the month of April.

india times mentioned Delhi on Friday grabbed the second hottest April in 72 years with an average high temperature of 104 degrees (40.2 degrees Celsius).

The city of Nawabsha in Pakistan recorded 117.5 degrees (47.5 degrees Celsius) Thursday – the highest temperature in the northern hemisphere this year so far.

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 one step higher on “heat alert” until Saturday.

Temperatures in this episode are expected to peak over the weekend, although the high temperature regime over the Indian subcontinent appears well established, with little respite in sight.

on Friday, More than 50 locations In India recorded temperatures of 111 degrees (44 degrees Celsius) or more, including the sprawling capital Delhi, where readings soared to 115.1 degrees (46.2 degrees Celsius) at the sports complex. The city’s official highest temperature was 110.3 degrees (43.5 degrees Celsius) on Thursday and Friday, the highest in April in 12 years.

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Gurgaon, southwest of New Delhi, broke the monthly record for April on Thursday and again on Friday, when it hit 114.6 degrees (45.9 degrees Celsius), breaking the previous record of 112.6 degrees (44.8 degrees Celsius) in 1979.

Lucknow, the largest city in the northeastern state of Uttar Pradesh, passed 113 degrees (45.1 degrees Celsius) setting a new record in April on Friday. Record numbers were also set in April in the northeastern state of Uttar Pradesh, where the city of Panda Link 117.3 degrees (47.4 degrees Celsius) while Prayagraj reached 116 (46.8 degrees Celsius).

More temperatures are expected, as the heat may rise on Saturday and Sunday, with little rest at night.

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.

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.

Power outages, fires and reduced harvest

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 heatwave 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 mortality events for more than 100 people is 146%.

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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 rose by 0.92 degrees (0.51 degrees Celsius) per decade.

How climate change is making parts of the world too hot and humid for survival

Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, also said The high temperatures increased the risk of fires breaking out 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 the constant temperatures above 104 degrees (40 degrees Celsius) across Punjab – the breadbasket of the country – 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.

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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.”

horrific high pressureheat 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 to early summer, lasting until early fall.

While readings are expected to dip somewhat after this weekend, there are signs of a resurgence after that.

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