beat the heat

The continuous rise in the temperature of the planet as a result of the unbridled use of fossil fuels by mankind forms the backdrop of changing weather patterns everywhere. India is also recording anomalous weather events with alarming frequency along with erratic monsoons and coastal erosion. However, some recent changes appear to be contradictory. An analysis of public weather data over the past half century by the Center for Science and Environment (CSE) shows that the all-India average temperature during the monsoon months (June-September) is higher than during the summer months (March-May). Is. ) Monsoon temperatures are 0.3 °C higher than the mean summer temperatures as compared to 1951-80. In 2012–2021, this anomaly increased to 0.4 °C. The India Meteorological Department has said that India’s average temperature has increased by 0.62 °C since 1901-2020, but the CSE analysis says – backing similar studies along these lines – this does not mean that in all seasons There is a corresponding increase in temperature. This is the average all-India average winter (January and February) and post-monsoon (October-December) average temperatures that have risen faster than the monsoon and summer temperatures. The mean daily maximum temperature for the northwestern states in March was 30.7 °C, while the all-India average was 33.1 °C or 2.4 °C warmer. The mean daily minimum temperature showed an even greater difference (4.9 °C). The normal maximum temperature of Central India was 2°-7°C above, while the normal minimum temperature of South Peninsular India was 4°-10°C above the temperature of North-West India.

The breaking of the temperature record is only part of the changes; There is also evidence of the toll on life. As of 2015–2020, heat stroke killed 2,137 people in north-west India, but 2,444 deaths in southern India were caused by extreme environmental heat, with Andhra Pradesh accounting for more than half of the deaths. . The urban heat island effect – which causes cities to be warmer on average than rural settlements due to concrete surfaces and denser populations – also contributed to heat stress. Indian officials are aware of these trends as some of the Gujarat-led states have Heat Action Plans (HAPs). The National Disaster Management Authority is working with 23 of 28 states to develop a HAP that adapts to stress changes in the built environment: Using materials that keep indoors cool, an early warning about heatwaves Maintains systems and improves health infrastructure for the treatment of heat stroke. Patient. However, much remains to be done in terms of reaching out to rural India as well as steps by governments to plan infrastructure and housing that recognize the threats from a warming climate. The time has come to incorporate fiscal incentives for effective cooling schemes in India, preferably through budget outlays. The need of the hour is to adapt and mitigate this most serious challenge.