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Global warming has made India’s heatwave 100 times more likely

Global warming has made India's heatwave 100 times more likely

May 20, 2022: According to the latest study published by the U.K’s national weather service, the blistering heatwave in northwest India and Pakistan was made more than 100 times because of human-caused climate change.

The extreme temperatures, starting in March, have set records in the region and forced millions of people to change how they work and live. India experienced its high-level March temperatures and third-highest April temperatures in 122 years, and Pakistan has gone through its hottest April on record.

The U.K. Met Office study estimated how climate change increased the chances of such heat events, using the record-breaking heat events in April and May of 2010 as a benchmark.

According to the study, without accounting for climate change, the probability of a heat event like the one that happened in 2010 would only be expected once every 312 years. But accounting for the current effects of climate change, such temperatures are expected every 3.1 years. The study cautioned that the chances could grow to every 1.15 years by the century’s end.

“Spells of heat have always been a feature of the region’s pre-monsoon climate during April and May,” said Nikos Christidis, the investigation’s lead researcher. “Although, our study shows that climate change is driving the heat intensity of these spells.”

In India, the average maximum temperature in April was 35.30 degrees Celsius, or just after 35.42 degrees Celsius in 2010 and 35.32 degrees Celsius in 2016, according to the Indian government.

In March, the average maximum temperature was 33.10 degrees Celsius, the highest middle maximum in the ex 122 years and barely higher than the prior record seen in March 2010.

Temperatures reach well above average this month. In recent days, temperatures in India have reached 50 degrees Celsius, while parts of Pakistan reached 51 degrees Celsius on the previous Sunday.

Since then, the heatwave has eased, but maximum temperatures are likely to achieve 50 degrees Celsius again in a rare areas, Paul Hutcheon of the Met Office’s Global Guidance Unit.

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Global warming has made India’s heatwave 100 times more likely