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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 08 September, 2021

  • 15 Min Read

New Heat wave Hotspots and Trends in India

New Heat wave Hotspots and Trends in India

  • North-Western, Central, and further to south-central region of India are the new hotspot of intense Heatwave events over the past half-century, said a study which found an increase in deadly Indian heat waves in recent years.
  • The study also highlights the need for developing effective heat action plans in the three heatwave hotspot regions with a focus on different vulnerabilities among the inhabitants.
  • Heatwaves emerged as a deadly health hazard, claiming thousands of lives across the globe in recent decades, with episodes strengthening in frequency, intensity, and duration in the past half-century in India as well.
  • This has caused severe impacts on health, agriculture, economy, and infrastructure.
  • In such a scenario, it is extremely important to identify the most heatwave vulnerable regions of the country to prioritize immediate policy intervention and stringent mitigation and adaptation strategies.
  • A team of researchers studied the change in spatial and temporal trends in Heatwaves (HW) and Severe heatwaves (SHW) over the past seven decades in different meteorological subdivisions of India.
  • This work has been supported under the Climate Change Program of the Department of Science & Technology. The study published in the journal “International Journal of Climatology” links the association of HW and SHW with mortality over India.

  • The study showed a shift in the Spatio-temporal trend of HW events from the eastern region of Gangetic West Bengal and Bihar to North-Western, Central and further to south-central region of India.
  • The research also observed an alarming southward expansion and a spatial surge in SHW events in the last few decades that may put a greater population at additional risk of heat stress in a region already characterized by low Diurnal temperature range (DTR), or the difference between the maximum and minimum temperatures within one day and high humidity.
  • Importantly, the HW/SHW events were found to be positively correlated with mortality in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, highlighting that human health is highly susceptible to severe heatwave disasters.

Way Forward

  • With an ever-increasing extreme-temperature threshold, a heat resilient future is the need of the hour.
  • Dense population with an intensive outdoor work culture calls for an equitable heat resilient mitigation and adaptation strategies covering each section of the society depending on their vulnerability.
  • The study highlights the need for developing effective heat action plans in the three heatwave hotspot regions.

Source: PIB


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