June 14, 2024

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India is experiencing the longest heat wave in history

India is experiencing the longest heat wave in history

India’s current heat wave is the country’s longest on record, the head of the India Meteorological Department said on Monday, warning of rising unrelenting temperatures.

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Parts of North India have been in the grip of an exceptional heat wave since mid-May, with temperatures crossing 45 degrees Celsius.

“This is the longest (heatwave) as it lasted for about 24 days in various parts of the country,” Mrityunjay Mohapatra, the country’s leading meteorologist, told the Indian Express daily.

The mercury is expected to fall as the monsoon moves north in late June, but Mr Mohapatra warned of a repeat of these severe conditions in the near future.

“Heat waves will be more frequent, longer lasting and more intense unless precautionary or preventive measures are taken,” he said.

India is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. The country has committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2070, two decades later than most industrialized Western nations.

Currently, India is heavily dependent on coal for its electricity generation.

“Human activities, population growth, industrialization and traffic are leading to increased concentrations of carbon monoxide, methane and chlorocarbons,” said Mr Mohapatra.

“We are putting not only ourselves at risk, but also future generations.”

Scientific research shows that climate change is causing longer, more frequent and more intense heat waves across the planet.

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India’s latest heatwave equaled the previous record of 49.2 degrees Celsius recorded in 2022 in New Delhi.

On May 29, an automated weather station in Mungeshpur, a suburb of Delhi, recorded a temperature of 52.9 degrees Celsius in India, but the recorded temperature was due to a faulty sensor, officials said.

17 other stations in Delhi recorded a maximum of 49 degrees Celsius on the same day.