Hot weather in India and Pakistan ‘tests the limits of human survival’
According to experts, the climate crisis will cause more frequent and longer-lasting heat waves, affecting more than a billion people in these two countries.
Record hot sun in many areas of India and Pakistan, due to the influence of the climate crisis across the subcontinent, putting the lives of millions of people at risk.
“The Year Without Spring”
According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) temperature The average maximum in northwest and central India for April is the highest since the record set 122 years ago, at 35.9 and 37.78 degrees Celsius, respectively, according to CNN.
People bathe in weather hot weather in Kolkata (West Bengal state, India) on May 2.
Last month, New Delhi saw seven consecutive days above 40 degrees Celsius, 3 degrees higher than the average April temperature, according to meteorologists at CNN. In some states, the heat has forced schools to close, damaged crops and put pressure on energy supplies, as officials warned residents to stay indoors and drink plenty of water.
According to data from the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), the cities of Jacobabad and Sibi in the southeastern province of Sindh recorded a record temperature of 47 degrees Celsius on April 29. The PMD said it was the highest temperature recorded in any city in the Northern Hemisphere that day.
“This is the first time in decades that Pakistan has experienced what many call a ‘year without a spring,'” Pakistan’s Minister of Climate Change, Sherry Rehman, said in a statement.
Temperatures in India are expected to improve slightly this week with maximum temperatures in the northwest expected to drop by 3 to 4 degrees Celsius, the IMD said. Temperatures in Pakistan are also forecast to be close to average – around 40 degrees Celsius – this weekend.
However, experts say the climate crisis will cause more frequent and longer-lasting heat waves, affecting more than a billion people in the two countries.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), India is one of the countries forecasted to be most affected by the climate change. impact of the climate crisis.
“This heat wave is definitely unprecedented,” said Dr Chandni Singh, senior research fellow at IPCC at the Indian Institute of Human Settlements. “We’ve seen variation in intensity, duration and duration of heatwaves. This is what climate experts have predicted and it will have major impacts on the climate. health“.
Impact of money label
India usually experiences heat waves during May and June, but this year temperatures start to rise in March and April.
A girl sells water in New Delhi, India, on April 27.
In the state of Punjab, in the north of the country, which is known as the “granary” bread of India”, the heat has not only put stress on millions of farmers but also reduced the yield of wheat fields.
“Due to the heat, production has decreased by more than 5 quintals per hectare in April,” said the head of the agriculture department in Pubjab, Gurvinder Singh.
In some parts of India, demand for electricity has led to coal shortages, leaving millions without power for up to nine hours a day.
Last week, coal stocks at three of the five power plants supplying Delhi with electricity reached extremely low levels, falling below 25%, according to the Delhi electricity authority.
A senior Indian Railways official told CNN that the country has canceled more than 650 passenger trains since the end of May to allow more freight trains as the country tries to replenish its coal reserves in the country. power plants. Indian Railways is a major supplier of coal to power plants across the country.
Several Indian states, including West Bengal and Odisha, have announced school closures in response to rising temperatures.
In recent years, both the federal and state governments have taken steps to mitigate the effects of the heat, including closing schools and issuing health warnings to the public.
But according to Chandni Singh, an expert at IPCC, India needs to do more to cope with future heat waves.
“We don’t have a heatwave action plan and there are gaps in planning,” he said. “You can only adapt and adapt. The heat is testing the limits of human survival.”
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