Last week, my AC broke down and just wouldn’t turn back on. It was only for a few days, but during that hellish period, just sitting in a heated room in Mumbai made me noticeably irritable. And if all it took was two days of heat to make my blood boil, I can only imagine just how unbearable the heat must be for those who toil out in the open. So it’s scary to read statistics that say that out of the 15 hottest places in the world in the past 24 hours as of June 4, ten happened to be in India, according to weather monitoring website El Dorado’s most recent reading. Other areas lay in Pakistan and Kuwait, but neither of them hit a temperature as high as 50.3 degree Celsius that the city of Churu in Rajasthan did. In fact, Ramratan Sonkariya, additional district magistrate for Churu, told Reuters that a heat wave advisory has been issued and government hospitals have prepped with emergency wards that have extra air conditioners, coolers and medicines to make it easier to deal with the soaring temperatures. He even mentioned that it was so hot there that water had to be sprinkled on the roads to prevent them from melting away. While Pakistan’s Jacobabad is second on the list with a temperature of 49 degrees celsius, other areas on the list with scorching temperatures include Ganganagar, Bikaner and Phalodi in Rajasthan, which are all experiencing temperatures upwards of 48 degrees celsius. Rajasthan is home to the great Indian Thar desert, which is pretty much why the area surrounding it experiences intense heat levels.
Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra are some of the states that have been hit by the heat the worst. After already experiencing the longest periods of dry weather this year, these areas are now facing "extreme" heat conditions. Not only are heat strokes leading to deaths, but even food delivery apps like Zomato are urging their customers to give their delivery boys a glass of water to combat dehydration. The heat is so literally killer that it has left 6,167 dead in India between 2010 and 2018, according to information provided to Parliament in February. In fact, just in 2015, as many as 2,081 deaths were recorded.
The continuous dry spell in places like Vidarbha in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh’s Bundelkhand have lead to severe drought and are huge factors responsible for the farming crisis that is killing crops that require more moisture.
According to a report, some factors responsible for the unusual intensity this year are the lack of pre-monsoon showers across the country, as well as the hot, dry winds moving from the northwest into the mainland. And because low rainfall reduces soil moisture, it massively increases the chances of heatwaves, which trap the atmospheric heat and prevent it from escaping.
Now it’s getting real hot in here and taking off all our clothes is not really the solution. Climate change and pollution are very real factors affecting environmental conditions, and a study in Science Mag says that as climate change intensifies, such episodes of heat waves are going to keep happening.
What’s scarier is Skymet’s prediction that these fierce flames of the heat wave conditions will continue to soar over many parts of India, with regions like Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh likely to face it till Friday before temperatures return to under 45 degrees.
Still think climate change isn’t real? Cause you just got burned.
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