Heatwaves in India. Editorial 24 April, 2023

Heatwaves in India edit

Heatwaves in India are going to cause havoc and we are witnessing this during this summer season in many parts of the country. 

Nearly 90% of India is in a “danger zone” from heatwave impact and almost all of Delhi is at the risk of severe heatwave impacts, which is not reflected in its recent state action plan for climate change, says a study published on April 19 in the peer-reviewed PLOS Climate.

The impacts of global warming are thus visible for everyone to see.

On April 16, 13 people attending a public function died of heat stroke in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra. While February and March saw record-setting temperatures, deaths have been reported even when the temperatures were not sky-rocketing and people were exposed to extreme humidity.

A heatwave is defined as a period of unusually hot weather with above-normal temperatures that typically last three or more days.

In India, heatwaves are generally experienced during the March-June period and on average, two or three heatwave event occur every season.

Heatwaves are predominantly observed over two areas — central and northwest India and coastal Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. Climate change and global warming, current research suggests, have increased the probability of heatwaves in the past three decades.

The study, by Ramit Debnath at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom and colleagues, also suggested that heatwaves, made more likely by climate change, may impede India’s progress toward achieving its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

India has committed to achieving 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) such as eliminating poverty, promoting good health and well-being, and decent work and economic growth.

One hopes we as a nation are able to arrest the drastic impacts of these ugly heatwaves in India .