Tuesday, June 2, 2015
India's Heat Wave Offers a Glimpse into the Future
On Tuesday morning temperatures in the Indian capital of New Delhi fell almost ten degrees to around 95.9°F (35.5°C). Last week temperatures in the city reached a high of 113.9°F (45.5°C). At the height of the heat wave New Delhi recorded temperatures exceeding 121°F (or almost 50°C) and actually melted roads.
While it is difficult to determine whether the heat wave in India is attributable to global warming we can say with certainty that heat waves are on the increase and this is consistent with climate models.
According to the India Meteorological Department over the past half century, temperatures exceeding the average by 5 or 6°C have increased by 33 percent.
India is not the only country that can expect an increase in heat waves going forward. According to an April 2015 study, “The heat waves are projected to be more intense, have longer durations and occur at a higher frequency and earlier in the year.”
Although scattered rain heralding the start of monsoon cooling has begun in parts of India, it will be a few more weeks before they make their way to the drier northern parts of the country.
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