New Delhi: Have you spent the summer cursing the world’s climate control system and the Monsoon cribbing about the humidity unleashed by little rain and the oppressive heat? Here’s a fact that will provide credence to your belief: July 2019 was the hottest July recorded in India’s meteorological history.
12 percent of India’s population was exposed to temperatures of over 40 degree Celsius between May and June 2019.
The previous trend
According to a report by IndiaSpend, 59.32 percent of India’s population faced a heatwave in 2016, the number rose to 61.4 percent in 2017 and then fell to 52.94 percent in 2018. According to Raj Bhagat Palanichamy, an earth observation expert at the World Resource Institute (WRI) in India, it was only in 2016 that satellite data improved enough to yield such a detailed analysis.
However, the year 2015 had seen the worst heatwave in India since 1992 which had impacted areas from Delhi to Telangana and had killed 2,081 people. It was the fifth deadliest heatwave in world history.
July temperature was 1.2 degree above pre-industrial era
With respect to global temperature records as well, July 2019 saw temperature settling 1.2 degree Celsius above the pre-industrial era, latest data from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Copernicus Climate Change Programme, the European Union’s Earth Observation Programme showed.
The India story
According to a November 2018 study by Indian Institute of Technology-Gandhinagar researchers, India will see a four-fold rise in heatwaves if global temperature rise is restricted to 1.5 degree Celsius by the turn of this century. If the world fails to prevent the global temperature from rising, India could see an eight-fold rise in heatwaves.
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