Due to the increase in brutal heatwaves in India, millions of people are struggling to keep cool. There is no sign of relief still.
It is common for India to experience heat waves prominently during the month of May and June. But this year, summer began in March with unusually high temperatures. The average maximum temperature recorded in the month of March was the highest in 122 years.
There are many components and causes that contributed to the increase in temperature from the month of March itself.
“Temperatures are rising rapidly in the country, and rising much earlier than usual,”– PM Modi told the state CMs. Prime Minister Modi also pinpointed the increased risk of fires due to temperature rise.
The increase in temperature has also resulted in an increase in the demand for power, leading to power downtime in some states.
Although summers are always crucial in India. Indians have developed many ways to cope with the high temperatures in summer. However, experts say that India is recording more extreme and intense heat waves.
Roxy Mathew Koll, a climate scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, agreed with the aspect that several atmospheric factors have led to the current heatwave in India. But concluding to one, he said it is Global warming- “That’s the root cause for the increase in heatwaves,”- he said.
Further, D Sivananda Pai, director of the Institute for Climate Change Studies said that there are other factors too other than climate change which are also contributing to the brutal rise in temperature and cause of heatwaves. D Sivananda Pai said factors such as population growth and the resultant to which lack of resources are also major factors in the increase in temperature. Also, the increased deforestation and use of transportation is something that majorly affects the temperature fluctuations.
“When you have more concrete roads and buildings, heat is trapped inside without being able to rise to the surface. This warms the air further,” Mr Pai says.
It has also been said that the increased temperatures and crucial heatwaves do have an adverse effect on people’s quality of life and policymakers should also lay emphasis on that concern, says Dr Chandni Singh, senior researcher at Indian Institute for Human Settlements and a lead author at Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
“Heatwaves can have serious health consequences. If temperatures are high even at night, the body doesn’t get a chance to recuperate, increasing the possibility of illnesses and higher medical bills,”- she added