India’s April heatwaves were 30 times more likely due to climate change: Study

Human-caused climate change has made record-breaking April heatwaves more likely in Bangladesh, India, Laos and Thailand at least 30 times, according to an analysis by a group of leading climate scientists.

The study by World Weather Attribution also confirms that extreme weakness in the area, known as a heatwave hotspot, has exacerbated effects of the heat wave.

During the month of April, parts of South and Southeast Asia faced an extreme heatwave that reached unprecedented temperatures of over 42°C in Laos and 45°C in Thailand.

This extreme heat has led to widespread hospitalizations, destruction of infrastructure, wildfires, and School closures. The exact number of dead is currently unknown.

Climate change has intensified heatwaves globallymaking it more frequent, longer lasting and hotter.

Also read: India to get its own heat impact estimation index: IMD chief

to evaluate The impact of climate change In the Asian heat wave, scientists analyzed weather data and simulated computer models, and compared the current climate, with approximately 1.2 degrees Celsius of warming since the late 19th century, to historical climate conditions using peer-reviewed methodologies.

The analysis focused on extreme temperatures and heat index over four consecutive days in April in two regions: southern and eastern India, Bangladesh, and all of Thailand and Laos.

The heat index, which takes into account temperature and humidity, provides a more accurate understanding of the effects of heat waves on the human body.

The results reveal that climate change has made a humid heat wave at least 30 times more likely in both regions.

the Temperatures achieved during the heat wave It was at least 2 degrees Celsius higher than it would have been without climate change. Unless immediate action is taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, global temperatures will continue to rise, leading to more frequent and intense heatwaves like this one.

Also read: IMD warns of heat waves in March and May but sees normal rainfall

In the past, such extreme heat waves occurred in Bangladesh and India once per century on average. However, it is now expected approximately every five years. If emissions are not quickly curtailed, a 2-degree increase in temperature is expected over the next 30 years, causing these events to occur at least once every two years.

For Laos and Thailand, the recent humid heatwave would have been highly unbearable without the impact of climate change. Even accounting for the impact of climate change, this type of heatwave remains extremely rare, occurring only once every 200 years.

However, if temperatures rise by 2 degrees Celsius, these heat waves will become more frequent, occurring about once every 20 years, according to the report.