March 22, 2023

Great Indian Mutiny

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Extreme heat in India and Pakistan is testing the chances of human survival

High temperatures have occupied most of the landmass of India and Pakistan, where recorded temperatures have been reached. The heat wave has put the lives of millions of people in danger. As a source of increasing climate change Across the Asian subcontinent.

Heat in India is testing human resistance, according to pictures of a country where people organize their lives to cope with the heat wave. The two countries’ national meteorological departments, in collaboration with the administrations responsible for health and disaster management, have been implementing action plans against heat, which have already been successful in saving lives in recent years, according to the International Meteorological Organization.

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Joachim Elkacho

Heat waves have multiple and layered impacts not only on health, but also on ecosystems, agriculture or water and energy supply, and key sectors of the economy.

On Thursday, in India, maximum temperatures in large areas rose to 43 and 46 C, and are expected to begin to drop from today.

On Friday, in Pakistan, the heat wave raised the temperature to 47 degrees Celsius in the southeastern cities of Jogabad and Sibi.

Temperatures recorded in April

The average maximum temperature in northwestern and central India in April was already the highest since records began 122 years ago, at 35.9 C and 37.8 C, respectively, according to the country’s meteorological services. According to CNN forecasters, last month, seven consecutive days in New Delhi recorded temperatures above 40C, three degrees higher than the April average.
Pakistan has also recorded its hottest March in at least the last 60 years, with several seasons breaking March records.

In the mountainous regions of Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, abnormal temperatures are expected to increase the melting of ice and snow, and flash floods or flash floods are likely in flood-prone areas. Also large areas are at high risk of fire.

Climate change

Of experts World Meteorological Organization (WMO) “Climate change is the only reason for the extreme heat in India and Pakistan,” they believe. However, they emphasize that “what is happening is in line with what we expect (to happen) in a changing climate.”

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In fact, the WMO concludes that “heat waves are more frequent and intense and begin earlier than in the past.”

In fact, the WMO concludes that “heat waves are more frequent and intense and start earlier than in the past.”

India is one of the countries that is expected to be hard hit by the impact of the climate crisis.



Heat waves and wet heat pressures will be very intense and frequent in South Asia during this century

Sixth Report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

UN Convention on Climate Change The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) noted in its sixth assessment report that “heat waves and humid heat pressures will become the most intense and frequent in South Asia this century.”

For its part, the Indian Ministry of Earth Sciences recently released a report stating, “The frequency of high temperatures in India increased during the period 1951-2015.”

At the same time, this publication identifies the accelerated warming trends in the “recent 30-year period 1986-2015 (with high confidence)”, which is used to estimate the value of the sources.

May 1, 2022 A boy bathes in a water tank in New Delhi, India, waiting to collect water from a municipal tanker.  REUTERS / Anushree Fadnavis

Boys get cold while filling water jugs in New Delhi

REUTERS / Anusree Fatnavi

The report predicts that “the frequency, duration, intensity and magnitude of the pre-monsoon heat wave in India will increase significantly in the 21st century (high confidence).”

The frequency of thermal peaks in India increased during the period 1951-2015

Report of the Indian Ministry of Earth Sciences

“This heat wave is definitely unprecedented,” said Dr Chandni Singh, the IPCC’s chief editor and senior researcher at the Indian Institute of Human Settlements. “We have seen a change in its severity, arrival time and duration. This is what climate experts predict, and it will have a layered impact on health,” he told CNN.

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India experiences frequent heat waves during the summer months of May and June, but this year the temperatures started rising in March and April.

Dilapidated crops

In Punjab, India’s bakery basket, the heatwave affects not only millions of workers, but also the wheat fields on which they depend to feed their families and sell across the country. This risk is particularly acute for agricultural workers, who are more likely to experience repressive heat.

Wheat production fell by an average of 7 degrees Celsius in April.

Those who work outside (farmers, masons, manual workers …) are particularly affected by this phenomenon. They have very few options for cooling and can not stay away from heat.

Increase in demand

Coal-covered electricity demand

In some parts of India, there is a shortage of coal due to the need for electricity, leaving millions of people without electricity for up to nine hours a day.

According to the Delhi Energy Ministry, last week, coal reserves in three of the five power plants on which Delhi relies to supply its electricity fell to a record low.

A senior Railway Ministry official told CNN that India had canceled more than 650 passenger trains till the end of May to make way for more freight trains as it was trying to replenish coal reserves at power plants.

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On a summer day in Amritsar on May 1, 2022, a motorist caught an umbrella while riding a scooter on the road.  (Photo by Narinder Nanu / AFP)

In Amritsar in the north of the country yesterday a family defended themselves with an umbrella on a motorcycle

AFP / Narinder I

School closures

Some Indian states, including West Bengal and Odisha, have announced the closure of schools to cope with rising temperatures.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said last week that “many children who have to go to school have nosebleeds and cannot bear the heat”.

In recent years, federal and state governments have implemented a number of measures to mitigate the effects of heat waves, including closing schools and providing health advice to the public.

Action plans

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But according to Chandni Singh, we need to be prepared for future heat waves.

“We don’t have a thermal action plan, there are gaps in planning,” Singh said. “You can adjust so far. This heat wave is testing the limits of human survival.”

Both India and Pakistan have precautionary measures and action plans against extreme heat, especially those designed for urban areas. These programs reduce heat death and the social impacts of extreme heat, including lost job productivity


Meteorologist Jose Miguel Vinas says, “It’s not an episode that usually goes with the diligence it has. The heat wave comes from mid-April and has temperatures in many areas. “It’s much higher than normal,” said the expert.

To do this, there is the National Disaster Management Authority of India, which coordinates the network of state disaster response agencies to deal with high temperatures.

Ahmedabad was the first city in India to implement these projects in 2013 after experiencing a devastating heat wave in 2010. This approach extends to 23 states affected by the heat wave and helps protect more than 130 cities and districts.

Pakistan has also made progress in protecting public health. In the summer of 2015, the heat wave hit much of central and northwestern India and eastern Pakistan and was directly or indirectly responsible for several thousand deaths. This created an awareness and led to the creation and implementation of the Heat Action Plan in Karachi and other parts of Pakistan.

In addition to the National Weather Service, the Red Cross and the Red Cross play an important role. Plans ensure specific interventions designed for people vulnerable to heat in a city. It will first identify the hot areas of the city and then identify the vulnerable population. These action plans have greatly helped to reduce overcrowding.

Maximiliano Herrera, a well-known climate expert, maintains that we face the severity of high temperature recordings (based on the data he manages). “Absolute records of absolute maximum temperatures at individual stations reflect 87.5% more or less compared to 12.5% ​​absolute minimum records”, the newspaper highlights.

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