Climate change has made temperatures in northwestern India and Pakistan 100 times higher in April and May, and increased the likelihood of such heat waves becoming more frequent by the end of the century.
According to an attribution study by the UK Meteorological Office published on Wednesday, heatwaves could occur more than the 2010 average once every 312 years, without accounting for climate change. Given climate change, the current climate is likely to increase once every 3.1 years and once every 1.15 years by the end of the century.
“The heat wave has always been a feature of the region’s pre-monsoon climate in April and May,” said Nicos Christidis, a scientist who created the report. “However, our research shows that climate change is driving the heat intensity of these mantras.”
Climate change is already making extreme weather events such as heat waves more intense and frequent and will continue to do so in the future. The heatwave in India and Pakistan is also remarkable during its tenure – with very high temperatures starting in March and heatwaves are likely to resume this week, according to the Meteorological Office.
Attribution studies, which determine the effects of climate change on a particular weather event, may take several months to complete because each study must be peer-reviewed individually. To speed up the process, the Met Office says it has come up with a peer-reviewed method that can be re-applied to every major event that occurs.
Scientists will have to wait until the end of the month to see if this year’s heatwave will exceed the level of experience in 2010, when all records for April and May will be combined.
In recent days, temperatures in some parts of India have exceeded 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit), while parts of Pakistan reached 51 degrees Celsius last Sunday. Extreme pre-monsoon heatwaves have eased, but in some places maximum temperatures are expected to reach 50 degrees Celsius again, said Paul Hachion of the Meteorological Office’s Global Guidance Unit.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)