Heat wave breaks monthly records in India and continues to build (2023)

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For the second month in a row, temperatures in India and Pakistan are abnormally high because of a string of strong and prolonged heat waves — and now another surge is building.

Temperatures have already soared to dangerously high levels. They topped 110 degrees in the Indian capital of Delhi on Thursday and Friday, where pavement melted amid the heat, while several cities broke April records.

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The Times of India reported Delhi clinched its second hottest April in 72 years Friday with an average high temperature of 104 degrees (40.2 Celsius).

The city of Nawabshah in Pakistan hit 117.5 degrees (47.5 degrees Celsius) Thursday — the hottest temperature in the Northern Hemisphere this year so far.

(Video) Why Europe is facing a record-breaking heat wave and drought across the continent | DW News

The heat wave has heightened the fire danger in recent days, threatened crop yields and even accelerated melting of some glaciers. While this part of the world is no stranger to extreme heat, scientists say conditions have been worsened because of climate change.

“Heat waves happen more frequently now and they are spread around throughout the year,” said Amir AghaKouchak, a professor at University of California at Irvine, in an email. “This is the new normal and most likely it will only get worse in the future unless we take serious actions.”

The India Meteorological Department has placed much of that nation under a “heat watch” through the weekend, with some locations like Madhya Pradesh in the center of the country are at one step higher at “heat alert” through Saturday.

Temperatures in this episode are expected to peak over the weekend, although the hot temperature regime over the subcontinent seems entrenched, with little meaningful relief in sight.

Monthly records fall

On Friday, more than 50 locations in India recorded temperatures of 111 degrees (44 Celsius) or greater, including the sprawling capital of Delhi, where readings rose as high as 115.1 degrees (46.2 Celsius) at the sports complex. The city’s official high was 110.3 degrees (43.5 Celsius) both Thursday and Friday, its highest April mark in 12 years.

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

The current extreme #heatwave in #Pakistan and #India as seen today, on the fourth intense hot day, by #Copernicus #Sentinel3 LST (Land Surface Temperature, not Air!). LST collected on April 29 shows max value exceeding 62°C/143°F. Gaps due to cloud/snow/nodata. #ClimateEmergency pic.twitter.com/0MCMkcSg0t

— ADAM Platform (@PlatformAdam) April 29, 2022
(Video) Heatwave: Wildfires spread across Europe as countries break record temperatures - BBC News

Lucknow, the largest city in the northeastern state of Uttar Pradesh, surpassed 113 degrees (45.1 Celsius) setting a new April record Friday. April records were also set in in the northeastern state of Uttar Pradesh where the city of Banda reached 117.3 degrees (47.4 Celsius) while Prayagraj hit 116 (46.8 Celsius).

More temperature records are expected to fall, as the heat may escalate further Saturday and Sunday, with little relief at night.

According to Maximiliano Herrera, an expert on world weather extremes, the highest April temperature in India is 118.9 degrees (48.3 Celsius), reached in Barmer during 1958. Nawabshah, Pakistan, about two hours inland from the Arabian Sea, hit 122.4 degrees (50.2 Celsius) four years ago.

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It’s probable that Pakistan ends up with the highest temperatures overall. Some locations north of the capital of Karachi could hit 120 degrees (49 Celsius) or higher through the weekend. Forecasts for Jacobabad, known as one of the hottest cities on Earth, are as high as 122 degrees (50 Celsius), which could test major records.

Power outages, fires and low harvest

The intense heat has caused significant power disruptions, described as the worst in years. Much of rural India lacks access to air conditioning. The unprecedented early-season heat waves are causing major health concerns in a country accustomed to the perils of hot conditions.

“The unfortunate reality is that people who are more vulnerable are the ones who will be impacted the most,” AghaKouchak said. “Lack of access to air conditioning, which is more common in poor and underserved communities, significantly increases the likelihood of heat stroke and heat wave caused mortality.”

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(Video) Record-Shattering Heat Wave Leads To Deaths Across Britain

Even without extreme heat waves, AghaKouchak found that just moderate increases in temperature can drastically increase mortality rates. Over the past five decades, around 0.92 degrees (0.5 degrees Celsius) of warming has increased the probability of heat-related mortality events of more than 100 people by 146 percent.

Most of those hazards are due to an increase of nighttime temperatures. AghaKouchak said temperatures typically tend to dip at night, providing a chance for our bodies to cool down. Without this cool-down, the prolonged heat increases the risk of heat exhaustion, cramps, strokes and even death.

“While we typically look at daily temperature extremes, nighttime temperatures are also really important for human health. … Nighttime heat waves have also increased significantly in densely populated areas of India,” AghaKouchak said. He and his colleagues previously found that the hottest nights from 1981-2013 have warmed by 0.92 degrees (0.51 degrees Celsius) per decade.

How climate change is making parts of the world too hot and humid to survive

India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, also said the elevated temperatures have increased the risk of fires across the country. Just in the past few days, satellites have detected a large increase in fire hot spots, especially in the northern part of the country. One fire at a landfill outside of New Delhi spewed toxic fumes, prompting a nearby school to shut down Tuesday.

#fires detected by #VIIRS over #India and #Nepal over the last month, including forest fires, open fires, and agricultural fires - more fires appearing in northern India in the last few days @CBhattacharji @AerosolWatch @NaegerAaron @NASAEarthData @CareForAirIndia @m_parrington pic.twitter.com/Jm098g8OzI

— Pawan Gupta (@pawanpgupta) April 28, 2022

Waves of relentless heat are also impacting the harvest. Wheat arrivals have been reported as running 20 percent below 2021 values in parts of the country this year. The decrease is mainly due to consistent temperatures above 104 degrees (40 Celsius) across Punjab — a breadbasket of the country — during the growing season.

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A drop in yield is largely due to crops that matured too quickly and have shriveled grains because of the early heat. It comes at a time when India was hoping to fill some of the gaps in the world market, like those created by Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine.

There are also concerns that the heat wave is rapidly melting glaciers, which might lead to flash and river flooding, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department.

Worsening heat waves

(Video) Europe’s climate in 2050

While India is often exposed to intense heat episodes, research shows the frequency, duration and intensity has increased as global temperatures rise.

A February study revealed that human activity played a larger role than natural causes, stating “anthropogenic factors have cause a twofold increase in the occurrence probability of severe heat waves in central and mid-southern India during twentieth century.” The risk of heat waves is projected to increase tenfold during the 21st century under some future climate change scenarios as well.

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“The extreme heat wave hitting India this week comes on top of 1C warming that country has already experienced,” tweeted Zeke Hausfather, a climate researcher at Stripe, a global technology company. “On our current emissions trajectory (SSP2-4.5) India is headed for around 3.5C warming by the end of the century.”

It has been hot over India and the heatwave is forecast to continue, with severe impacts. A heatwave that would have been rare without climate change but is, like heatwaves around the world, much more common now & will become more & more so as long as we burn fossil fuels. pic.twitter.com/bE1O8wMMsQ

— Dr Friederike Otto (@FrediOtto) April 26, 2022

Hellacious high pressure “heat domes,” like the one that has persisted over India in recent months have been found to be more common and more intense than in the past. Similar record-breaking temperature setups occurred in the Pacific Northwest during 2021, among other recent instances across the globe.

Temperatures tend to peak in India during April and May, or just before the rainy season — a seasonal shift in winds called the monsoon — gets underway. Cloudier and rainier conditions of the monsoon typically sweep north and west out of the Indian Ocean by late May and into early summer, lasting through early fall.

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

FAQs

Will 2022 be the hottest year on record? ›

According to NCEI's Global Annual Temperature Outlook, there is a greater than 99% chance that 2022 will rank among the 10-warmest years on record but less than 11% chance that it will rank among the top five.

What is causing record heat wave? ›

Scientists have found the main cause of heat domes is a strong change in ocean temperatures from west to east in the tropical Pacific Ocean during the preceding winter.

How do heat waves affect India? ›

What are the Impacts of Heat Waves In India? Economic Impacts: The frequent occurrence of heat waves also adversely affects different sectors of the economy. For instance, the livelihood of poor and marginal farmers is negatively impacted due to the loss of working days.

What is the highest recorded heat ever? ›

What is the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth? The highest temperature on record belongs to California's Death Valley which, in 1913, reached a temperature of 134 degrees Fahrenheit, or 56.7 degrees Celsius, Al Jazeera reports.

What are the 7 warmest years on record? ›

The warmest seven years have all been since 2015, with 2016, 2019 and 2020 constituting the top three. An exceptionally strong El Niño event occurred in 2016, which contributed to record global average warming. “Back-to-back La Niña events mean that 2021 warming was relatively less pronounced compared to recent years.

What was the hottest day on Earth 2022? ›

Four all-time national/territorial heat records set or tied in 2022. Vatican City: 40.8°C (105.4°F), June 28.

What is causing this heat wave 2022? ›

India Heatwave Breaks Temperature Records. The average maximum temperature across India in March 2022 was 33.1˚C. Experts say climate change is to blame.

Why is it so hot lately 2022? ›

Most climate divisions in the US experienced days when high temperatures were being made more likely because of climate change. Along the coast of Texas, for example, more than 60 days this summer had temperatures found to be influenced by climate change.

How heat waves are affecting our environment? ›

Heatwaves also increase pressure on our water and energy supplies, causing water restrictions and blackouts. Power shortages can increase the health impact of heatwaves, because people can't use air-conditioning or other electrical methods to cool off.

What is causing India heatwave? ›

Climate attribution science links human-caused climate change and a recent devastating spring heatwave in India and Pakistan.

Is heat wave a natural disaster in India? ›

After floods, heatwaves are the second most lethal calamity in India having claimed 41,333 deaths since 1967. This time the impacts were deeply felt by the adverse changes in agricultural, public, and animal health.

Is heat wave a disaster in India? ›

Heatwave is India's second most lethal disaster after the flood; the government should declare it a natural disaster to prevent further losses. It helps the State and District administration prepare a heatwave action plan at the regional level.

What is the 2nd hottest country? ›

Burkina Faso, which borders Mali, is the second-hottest country on earth. With an average yearly temperature of 83.68°F (28.71°C), Burkina Faso gets a lot of heat! You'll find Burkina Faso in the western part of Africa, with the majority in the Sahel but a small part in the Sahara desert.

Where is the hottest country? ›

Mali is the hottest country in the world, with an average yearly temperature of 83.89°F (28.83°C). Located in West Africa, Mali actually shares borders with both Burkina Faso and Senegal, which follow it on the list.

Where is hottest place on Earth? ›

Death Valley holds the record for the highest air temperature on the planet: On 10 July 1913, temperatures at the aptly named Furnace Creek area in the California desert reached a blistering 56.7°C (134.1°F). Average summer temperatures, meanwhile, often rise above 45°C (113°F).

Which was the hottest year in India? ›

The country averaged monthly mean temperatures of 26.67 degrees Celsius is the second warmest since 1901 (The warmest year on record was 2010 with 26.671 degrees Celsius).

Is it hotter now than 20 years ago? ›

Earth's temperature has risen by 0.14° Fahrenheit (0.08° Celsius) per decade since 1880, but the rate of warming since 1981 is more than twice that: 0.32° F (0.18° C) per decade. 2021 was the sixth-warmest year on record based on NOAA's temperature data.

What is the coldest year on record? ›

Brutal cold in Antarctica, impressive even for the coldest place on Planet Earth. The end of September came close to the world record for lowest temperature in October (-80°C). The all-time cold record is −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F) from Vostok Station on 21 July 1983.
...
2022 Heat Tracker.
Average Year-To-Date40
Last Year48
3 more rows
2 Oct 2021

What is the hottest city on Earth? ›

Dallol, Ethiopia

Dallol holds the official record for highest average temperature for an inhabited place on Earth. From 1960 to 1966, the annual mean temperature of the locality was 34.4 °C (93.9 °F), while the average daily maximum temperature during the same period was recorded as a scorching 41.1 °C (106.0 °F).

Do people live in Death Valley? ›

Death Valley is no stranger to heat. Sitting 282 feet below sea level in the Mojave Desert in southeastern California near the Nevada border, it is the lowest, driest and hottest location in the United States. It is sparsely populated, with just 576 residents, according to the most recent census.

How hot will the Earth be in 2030? ›

AUnderstanding Global Warming of 1.5°C*

warming above pre-industrial levels, with a likely range of 0.8°C to 1.2°C. Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate.

How does heat waves affect humans? ›

Extreme heat events can trigger a variety of heat stress conditions, such as heat stroke. Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related disorder. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature. Body temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body cannot cool down.

When was the last heat wave on earth? ›

In late June, the 2021 Western North America heat wave occurred, causing temperatures to soar above 38 °C (100 °F) in the Pacific Northwest. All-time record high temperatures were recorded in cities such as Portland 47 °C (116 °F) and Seattle 42 °C (108 °F).

Is the heat wave due to climate change? ›

Heatwaves are growing in frequency and intensity around the world due to climate change. Scientists have been warning for some time that the rise in global average temperature, as greenhouse gas levels mount in the atmosphere, is causing an increase in the risks of hot weather.

Will 2022 be a warm summer? ›

On average, we're predicting summer temperatures to be hotter than normal across most of the country, ranging from the Atlantic Corridor south to Florida, across to the West Coast, and almost everywhere in between.

What's the hottest month 2022? ›

The summer started out hot and hardly abated. NASA data indicated June 2022 tied for the hottest June on record, July tied for the third warmest and August ranked as the second warmest globally.

What summer 2022 looks like? ›

The transition from spring to summer will be stormy in many areas of the United States, especially along the East Coast and Great Lakes regions, where we are predicting some big thunderstorms. During the middle to latter part of July (Dog Days of Summer), most of the nation will experience brutally hot conditions.

How do heat waves affect the economy? ›

And beyond the immediate threat to life, extreme temperatures can impact economies, too. “Extended bouts of great heat can result in more hospital visits, a sharp loss of productivity in construction and agriculture, reduced agricultural yields, and even direct damage to infrastructure,” points out Phys.org.

Who is most affected by heat waves? ›

The elderly suffer due to the diminished ability to perspire. Since the function of perspiration is to provide evaporation, which in turn provides cooling, the elderly have a reduced capacity to release heat from the body.

Who is at risk from heatwave? ›

older people – especially those over 75 and female. those who live on their own or in a care home. people who have a serious or long-term illness including heart or lung conditions, diabetes, kidney disease, Parkinson's disease or some mental health conditions.

Is India getting too hot? ›

These studies reflect that the country has been getting warmer continuously, consistently and rapidly. Estimates suggest that there have been over 22,000 heat-related fatalities in India since 1992. India suffers from major heatwaves during March-June each year as witnessed over the recent past.

How can we stop heat in India? ›

Heat wave: Do's & Dont's
  1. Avoid going out in the sun, especially between 12.00 noon and 3.00 p.m.
  2. Drink sufficient water and as often as possible, even if not thirsty.
  3. Wear lightweight, light-coloured, loose, and porous cotton clothes. ...
  4. Avoid strenuous activities when the outside temperature is high.

WHO declares heatwave in India? ›

India Meteorological Department issues following colour code impact based heat warning jointly with National Disaster Management Authority. Yellow Alert (Be updated) Heat Alert Heat wave conditions at isolated pockets persists on 2 days Moderate temperature.

Is heat wave a national disaster? ›

Heat waves were not notified as a disaster at the national level under the existing disaster relief policies. But, state governments were authorised to spend up to 10 per cent of funds under certain heads for heat wave relief.

What is the hottest part of India? ›

Titlagarh. Titlagarh, in the state of Odisha, is the hottest spot in India, especially in the summer. It is quite difficult for individuals to leave their houses throughout the day since the town's temperature soars to 43 degrees Celsius.

Why is it so hot in India right now 2022? ›

Soumya Sarkar. India reported record temperatures in March 2022, making it the hottest in 122 years since records began. Scientists say the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is contributing to India's increased temperatures.

Why is heat wave a problem? ›

Heatwaves can burden health and emergency services and also increase strain on water, energy and transportation resulting in power shortages or even blackouts. Food and livelihood security may also be strained if people lose their crops or livestock due to extreme heat.

What are heat waves class 7th? ›

Heatwave: World Meteorological Organization defines a heatwave as five or more consecutive days during which the daily maximum temperature exceeds the average maximum temperature by five degrees Celsius.

Does Dubai get cold? ›

Dubai's weather is warm all year round with two distinct summer and winter seasons. The lowest average temperatures are around 20⁰C in January, while the summer months (between June and August) have averages of around 30⁰C.

Why is Dubai so hot? ›

The climate of Dubai is warm and sunny due to its position near the line of the Tropic of Cancer. During the winter season it has an average daytime temperature of 25 °C (77 °F).

What is the 3 hottest place on Earth? ›

Mitribah, Kuwait

Not only was it the third highest temperature ever recorded, it's also the highest temperature ever recorded for the continental region of Asia.

Is Australia hotter than India? ›

Is Australia hotter than India? India is closer to the equator as compared to Australia, and is therefore expected to be hotter. The average temperature in most of the interior regions of India is 90–104 °F. Whereas in Australia the average temperature in summer is 86 °F.

Where is coldest place on Earth? ›

recorded. The Eastern Antarctic Plateau claims the title of coldest place on Earth. Between 2004 and 2016, satellite data collected across Dome Argus and Dome Fuji, an area around the size of Australia, suggest that air temperatures could be around -94°C.

Why is Pakistan so hot? ›

Pakistan's climate is a continental type of climate, characterized by extreme variations in temperature, both seasonally and daily, because it is located on a great landmass north of the Tropic of Cancer (between latitudes 25° and 37° N).

How hot can humans survive? ›

A wet-bulb temperature of 35 °C, or around 95 °F, is pretty much the absolute limit of human tolerance, says Zach Schlader, a physiologist at Indiana University Bloomington. Above that, your body won't be able to lose heat to the environment efficiently enough to maintain its core temperature.

Which country is hot all year? ›

Your options include cities such as Rio de Janeiro or Abu Dhabi, beach-lined paradises from Langkawi to Cape Verde and all-rounders including Mauritius and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Spain's Canary Islands offer the closest bet in Europe while Aruba is an insider tip breaking the usual Caribbean climatic rules.

Why is Death Valley so hot? ›

Why so Hot? The depth and shape of Death Valley influence its summer temperatures. The valley is a long, narrow basin 282 feet (86 m) below sea level, yet is walled by high, steep mountain ranges. The clear, dry air and sparse plant cover allow sunlight to heat the desert surface.

Why is 2022 the hottest year? ›

Per NOAA's data, 2022 has been the sixth-warmest year on record from January through August, with a global average temperature 1.55 degrees higher than the 20th-century average. Of the annual records, 2016 remains the warmest, but there is a less than 0.1 percent chance that 2022 manages to exceed that warmth.

Is there a heatwave for 2022? ›

The heatwaves caused substantial disruption to transportation. Climatologists say the extreme heat was due to climate change.
...
August heatwave.
Typeheatwave
Start date9 August 2022
End date15 August 2022
Peak temp.34.2 °C (93.6 °F), recorded at Wiggonholt, West Sussex on 11 August 2022
1 more row

Why is this year so hot 2022? ›

Most climate divisions in the US experienced days when high temperatures were being made more likely because of climate change. Along the coast of Texas, for example, more than 60 days this summer had temperatures found to be influenced by climate change.

Is June 2022 the hottest on record? ›

Looking at just land temperature, June 2022 was the Northern Hemisphere's second-warmest June on record — 2.81 degrees F (1.56 degrees C) above average — behind June 2021's record high land temperature. Europe and Asia also had their second-warmest June land temperature on record.

How hot will it be in 2030? ›

AUnderstanding Global Warming of 1.5°C*

warming above pre-industrial levels, with a likely range of 0.8°C to 1.2°C. Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate.

Where is the hottest place on earth? ›

Death Valley holds the record for the highest air temperature on the planet: On 10 July 1913, temperatures at the aptly named Furnace Creek area in the California desert reached a blistering 56.7°C (134.1°F). Average summer temperatures, meanwhile, often rise above 45°C (113°F).

How hot will it be in 2050? ›

Highs could approach 40 degrees Celsius (around 104 degrees Fahrenheit) for the first time – a prediction that prompted meteorologists there to issue a “red” heat warning for the first time ever. To be clear, this would be truly record-breaking heat.

Will there be heatwave in September 2022? ›

In early September 2022, a long-lasting heat dome settled over the U.S. West and brought scorching temperatures that set all-time record highs.

When was the last big heat wave? ›

During mid-June 2022, a record-breaking heat wave affected half of the United States, with St. Louis being the most affected city. Record-high temperatures were set from California to Texas on June 13.

What is causing the heat? ›

"As prevailing winds move the hot air east, the northern shifts of the jet stream trap the air and move it toward land, where it sinks, resulting in heat waves," the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says on its website.

Will we have a good summer in 2022? ›

The average global temperature for 2022 is forecast to be between 0.97°C and 1.21°C (with a central estimate of 1.09 °C) above the average for the pre-industrial period (1850-1900): the eighth year in succession when temperatures have exceeded 1.0°C above pre-industrial levels.

Why is China so hot? ›

Climate attribution expert Friederike Otto told Climate Home: “Heatwaves in China have definitely become more common and more intense as well as longer in duration because of human-induced climate change.” While the heatwave has hit large areas of China, the central province of Sichuan has been worst affected.

Why is the world so hot? ›

Heatwaves are growing in frequency and intensity around the world due to climate change. Scientists have been warning for some time that the rise in global average temperature, as greenhouse gas levels mount in the atmosphere, is causing an increase in the risks of hot weather.

Which is the hottest city in the world today? ›

1) Death Valley, California

And it is one of the hottest places in the world partly because its high steep valley walls trap hot air in the valley floor instead of releasing it. As the sun reheats air masses, Death Valley's temperature increases.

What is the coldest day of the year 2022? ›

January 22, 2022 - To give you a better idea of the coldest time of year, on average, for your area, NCEI has created “Coldest Day of the Year” maps for the contiguous United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.

Where is it the hottest right now 2022? ›

Mali is the hottest country in the world, with an average yearly temperature of 83.89°F (28.83°C). Located in West Africa, Mali actually shares borders with both Burkina Faso and Senegal, which follow it on the list.

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