Extreme heat in India, power outages for several hours until early May
India’s intense heat waves are expected to continue until early next month, meaning that millions of people will have to endure dangerous temperatures and hours of power outages.
According to Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, head of the Meteorological Bureau, the country is preparing for temperatures to rise to record highs. In an interview in New Delhi, the agency said it was working with state and government disaster management departments to issue early warnings to people in the field.
In central and northern India, thermometer readings have already reached 46 degrees Celsius (115 degrees Fahrenheit), usually two months before the cool rainy monsoon season. They hit a record high since 1901 last month. Heat tested the power grid as the air conditioner is fully open and threatening wheat crops. According to Mohapatra, local governments are implementing action plans to manage health risks and even deaths.
“Why is it so warm this year? The only reason is global warming,” said Roxy Matthew Cole, a climate scientist at the Institute of Tropical Meteorological Research in India. “We looked at 70 years of data, and looking at its intensity, the number of heat waves is a direct response to global warming.”
India is expected to suffer more frequent and intense heat waves, extreme rainfall, and unstable monsoons in the coming decades as the Earth warms, according to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. McKinsey estimates that the hours lost due to heat waves could cause a loss of $ 250 billion, or 4.5% of GDP, by the end of the decade.