Climate change has increased the chance of a heat wave in India 100 times

A farmer pours water on himself on Sunday, May 1, 2022, while working on a wheat farm in Ludhiana district of Punjab, India.

T. Narayan | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The scorching heat wave in northwest India and Pakistan is more than 100 times likely due to human-caused climate change, According to a new study This was announced by the UK’s National Weather Service on Wednesday.

Extreme temperatures, which began in March, have already set records in the region and have forced millions of people to change the way they work and live. India had the warmest March and the third warmest April in 122 years of records, and Pakistan recorded the warmest April on record.

The UK Met Office The study estimated how climate change has increased the likelihood of such heat events, using the region’s record heat event in April and May 2010 as a benchmark.

Without taking climate change into account, the probability of a heat event like the one in 2010 will be exceeded only once every 312 years, according to the study. But due to the current effects of climate change, these record temperatures are now expected every 3.1 years. The study warned that by the end of the century, the odds could rise to every 1.15 years.

“Heat waves have long been a feature of the region’s climate before the monsoons in April and May,” said Nikos Christidis, lead author of the study. “However, our study shows that climate change is the root cause of the extreme heat of these episodes.”

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Air coolers for sale in New Delhi, India, on Saturday, April 30, 2022. India is experiencing a heat wave, with the average temperature in the country reaching nearly 33 degrees Celsius in March, the highest level ever recorded in a month. Since the authorities began collecting data in 1901.

Anindeto Mukherjee | Bloomberg | Getty Images

In India, the average maximum temperature in April was 35.30°C (95.5°F), or below 35.42°C (95.8°F) in 2010 and 35.32°C (95.6°F)) in 2016, According to the Indian government

The average maximum temperature in March was 33.10 °C (91.6 °F), the highest average maximum temperature in the past 122 years and slightly above the previous record set in March 2010.

Temperatures are well above average this month. In the past few days, temperatures in parts of India reached 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit), while parts of Pakistan reached 51 degrees Celsius (123.8 degrees Fahrenheit) last Sunday.

The heat wave has since abated, but maximum temperatures are likely to reach 50 degrees Celsius again in some areas, Paul Hutcheon of the Met Office’s global guidance unit said.

Scientists will have to wait until the end of the month, when all temperature records for April and May will be collected, to see if this year’s heat wave will exceed 2010 levels.

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