the weather is hot. Really hot. India is experiencing a severe heat wave. Neighboring countries such as Pakistan are also affected
Before the onset of monsoon in May/June it is always very hot and humid here. Usually only May days are the most annoying days, sometimes in April too.
“The situation there can be classified as an exceptional heat wave, given that temperatures in this region have been above the long-term average by more than 5 degrees since mid-March,” Andreas Friedrich, a meteorologist from the German Meteorological Service explains to BILD.
While the maximum temperatures in northern India and southern Pakistan are usually 40-42 degrees, temperatures can reach up to 46-50 degrees! The temperature in Shahid Benazirabad (Pakistan) rose to 49.5 degrees on the first of May.
What makes scientists sit back and note: This year, the corresponding weather conditions were already set in March, and April was much hotter than usual.
Carlo Bontempo, Director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) at the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) explains: “Although it is too early to assess the extent to which climate change is contributing to the extreme heat wave, increasing global temperatures in general increases the likelihood of the occurrence of these heat waves.
Climate scientist Dr. Martin Stendel of the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) There are several reasons. He explains to BILD: “On the one hand, it’s the pre-monsoon season. On the other hand, urbanization is increasing – green spaces are being replaced by concrete, which is getting hotter. And on top of all that, there’s global warming, which means that such extreme events are happening more frequently. It is more frequent than before, and it is also accompanied by higher temperatures. By the way, the fact that the situation is dangerous is due not only to high temperatures, but above all to high humidity. “
Such temperatures have never been seen in parts of the affected region at this time of year, climate researcher Eric Fischer from Zurich tells SRF. The heat wave is expected to break records.
Besides high humidity, Fisher said, there were sometimes circumstances in which people reached the limits of their adaptation. It is one of the most densely populated regions in the world, and is home to about ten percent of the world’s population.
People live close to each other, air pollution is high, and the nights are hot. Many people will not have the opportunity to calm down.
According to climate researcher Stefan Ramstorf, these heat waves could become more frequent as a result of climate change.
“As long as global warming continues, it is clear that extreme temperatures will continue to increase as well,” said the head of the Earth system analysis department at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).
And there is no end in sight to the heat wave. No cooling from monsoons is expected before June.
Tragic: In some parts of India, blackouts are becoming more frequent, so even wealthy families who can afford air conditioning can’t always hope for cooling.
The heat caused the deaths of more than twenty people in the western state of Maharashtra. A spokesperson for the state, which also includes Mumbai, said that since the end of March, 25 deaths have been attributed to heat stroke. There have not been many deaths from heat for more than five years.
According to researchers, more than a billion people in neighboring India and Pakistan are somehow at risk from extreme heat.
Climate scientist Dr. Karsten Brandt from Donnerwetter.de to BILD: “The time before the monsoon is usually the hottest time of the year because the sun is already high in the sky and the dry land is boiling. However, perhaps this record heat can only be explained by climate change. In Whereas 40 to 42 degrees were measured 50 to 70 years ago in the same weather conditions, today we reach two to four degrees.”