Indian Heat Waves causing increase in mortality: Study
Source :News Bharati English   Date :08-Jun-2017

New Delhi, June 8: In last few years Indians are experiencing a bad heat wave. Once summer was happy here but it is now unbearable in India. A study by environmental scientists has shown 146% increase in the probability of heat-related mortality events. In addition to India, populations in other developing countries in low- to mid-latitude regions are especially hard-hit by these extreme heat events. The impact of global climate change is badly affecting this tropical sub-continent. Compared to previous 50 years, India is now 2½ times more likely to experience a deadly heat.

The study clearly shows the world is to experience more warming soon. 53.5 degrees C (128.3 degrees F) set in the southwest Pakistani city of Turbat on May 28 has set the highest temperature record in the world. “It’s getting hotter, and of course more heat waves are going to kill more people,” said climatologist Omid Mazdiyasni who lead the study. An increase in the average temperature of just 0.5 degrees Celsius may seem nothing to common mass but a 1 or 2-degree temperature rise is enough to increase heat wave and kill more people.

For the people from richer countries, it is easy to access cooler to escape the heat. Though India is a fast-growing economy still it’s impossible to give access to cooler to 12billion people. Hence the researchers wrote in their abstract in developing low-latitude countries, such as India heat-related mortality will increase soon.


Abstract of the research paper:Rising global temperatures are causing increases in the frequency and severity of extreme climatic events, such as floods, droughts, and heat waves. We analyze changes in summer temperatures, the frequency, severity, and duration of heat waves, and heat-related mortality in India between 1960 and 2009 using data from the India Meteorological Department. Mean temperatures across India have risen by more than 0.5°C over this period, with statistically significant increases in heat waves. Using a novel probabilistic model, we further show that the increase in summer mean temperatures in India over this period corresponds to a 146% increase in the probability of heat-related mortality events of more than 100 people. In turn, our results suggest that future climate warming will lead to substantial increases in heat-related mortality, particularly in developing low-latitude countries, such as India, where heat waves will become more frequent and populations are especially vulnerable to these extreme temperatures. Our findings indicate that even moderate increases in mean temperatures may cause great increases in heat-related mortality and support the efforts of governments and international organizations to build up the resilience of these vulnerable regions to more severe heat waves.


"Given the quantifiable impacts of climate change in India and other developing nations in the coming decades, both rich and poor countries should be ramping up our efforts to combat global climate change instead of turning our backs on commitments we have made to the international community," said co-author Steven J. Davis said in the press release.


A report published by India Meteorological Department (IMD) showed that more than 1,600 people died due to extreme weather conditions across the country last year. In 1975 and 1976, there were only 43 and 34 heat-related fatalities. In 1998 around 1600 people died and in 2013 1500 people died. The farmers or workers who work in the heat, they are likely to be more affected. The number of heat wave days increased by 25 percent across most of India and the western and southern province experienced more heat wave days.