Scorching Heatwave In India Reaches 115°F

India and its neighboring countries are currently experiencing a massive heatwave, with temperatures approaching 115°F in India and exceeding 117°F in Pakistan. These conditions led the India Meteorological Department to issue a Heat Wave warning on Friday.

Over the past three days, the Forest Survey of India has detected almost 8,000 individual fire starts around India, with 277 large fires reported on Friday alone. While the heatwave is certainly propelling these fires, low rainfall prior to the monsoon season and dry soils have likely also played a role.

The month-long heatwave also poses a health risk to the Indian population and has caused some schools to shutter temporarily. Higher temperatures can result in a series of heat-related illnesses and even death; last summer’s heatwave in the Pacific Northwest region lasted one week and killed almost 200 people. The heat has also caused methane in landfills to combust and release toxic smoke into the atmosphere.

The heatwave has also affected wheat crops, as the intense temperatures followed a cooler-than-expected spring. A heat event in March was the hottest in a century for India, and was the beginning of crop die-offs. India is one of the world’s largest producers of wheat and uses its production to buffer against famine. This heatwave has compromised those reserves, which had already been declining due to feeding people during the pandemic.

A study published earlier this year indicates that human activity is responsible for a doubling in the probability of heatwaves in India by the end of the century.



Reference-www.forbes.com

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