What has led to such a severe heatwave in India
New Delhi, Apr 27: Officials have warned that a heatwave will sweep large parts of India over the next 4-5 days. The heatwave would be experienced from the west and northwest India to the east, weather officials have warned.
Last month India recorded its warmest March in over 100 years. The trends are yet another indicator of the effects of climate crisis, which has now put millions of people at greater health risk and trigger productivity loss.
Friederike Otto, senior lecturer in Climate Science at the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London, according to a statement by the institute said, "India's current heatwave has been made hotter by climate change that is the result of human activities like burning coal and other fossil fuels. This is now the case for every heatwave, everywhere in the world. Until net greenhouse gas emissions end, heatwaves in India and elsewhere will continue to become hotter and more dangerous."
In terms of India, the experts say that a cyclical weather phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean, the La Niña has led to affects that are unusual from the typical influence it is known for.
La Niña is a condition where the sea surface temperature in eastern and central Pacific Ocean is lower than usual. It alters a planet wide wind system and typical leads to harsher winter an a somewhat intense summer and a rainier monsoon in India during the following period. This year it seems to have eaten into the spring season entirely, triggering summer like conditions much sooner.
Raghu Murtugudde, a climate scientist at the University of Marylan said, in India, the phenomenon is mostly associated with wet and cold winters. Therefore, the current impact of La Niña on the spring and summer season in India is completely unexpected.
The data by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) states that the heatwaves of 2022 started on March 11 and has impacted 15 Indian states and Union Territories. Between March 11 and April 24, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have been affected the most with 25 heat wave and severe heat wave days.