The world local temperature recorded by the Goddard Earth observing system model on April 27 shows that the South Asian subcontinent is shrouded by a heat wave. Photo: NASA Earth observation website
Since mid-March, the heat wave has continued to hang over the South Asian subcontinent, killing nearly 100 people and affecting hundreds of millions of people. As for the cause of the heat wave, experts point the "culprit" to global warming.
South Asia: a year without spring when a heatwave hit India and Pakistan in 122
On April 2, the Indian Meteorological Agency said that the country's average highest temperature in March reached 33.1 degrees Celsius, the highest in 122 years. According to the latest data from the department, the average maximum temperatures in northwest and central India reached 35.9 ℃ and 37.78 ℃ in April, both of which experienced the "hottest April" in 122 years.
According to the Copernicus Sentinel 3 satellite, the surface temperature in many parts of northwestern India was close to 55 ℃ at the end of April and even exceeded 60 ℃, according to the European Space Agency's website.
In the western Indian state of Gujarat, local veterinarians and animal rescuers say dozens of dehydrated birds fall from the sky every day as the heat dries up the water.
Doctors at a local animal hospital say they have been feeding the birds vitamins and injecting water into their mouths for days, and thousands of birds have been treated in the past few weeks.
Not only that, nocturnal temperatures in many parts of India have not recently fallen below 30 degrees Celsius, which experts say can be fatal because people's health will not recover from daytime temperatures.
CBS in the United States pointed out in a report that because the hot weather in South Asia usually begins in June, and the heat wave is much earlier than the same period, it caught local people and governments off guard. So far, at least 25 people have been killed in the heat wave in India, and the actual number is expected to be even higher.
Similar extreme high temperatures have occurred in India's neighboring Pakistan in recent days. Pakistan's meteorological department said that daytime temperatures in most parts of the country may be 5 ℃ to 8 ℃ higher than normal. In some mountainous areas, unusually high temperatures can also accelerate the melting of glaciers, leading to torrents, the department warned.
So far, 65 people have been reported killed in the heatwave in Pakistan. "this is the first time in decades that Pakistanis have experienced a year without spring," Pakistani Climate change Minister Lehman said in a statement. "
Global food prices may be pushed up by massive power outages and train outages
The persistent heat wave also had a serious chain reaction. The US VOX News Network pointed out that the most serious impact of extreme heat falls on the poorest people, who do not have enough water, let alone use air conditioners and electric fans.
For those who can afford to use artificial refrigeration, the situation is not optimistic. At present, 2/3 of households in India have lost power due to surging electricity demand and grid pressure. According to the report, people have no electricity when they need cooling most.
CBS also pointed out that because 70 per cent of India's electricity comes from coal-fired power plants, the country has cancelled hundreds of passenger trains to make way for more coal trains, and the transport system is facing a severe test.
Hot weather has also exacerbated dust and ozone pollution, leading to a surge in air pollution readings in major cities in South Asia.
More worryingly, wheat production is also under threat. In India, about 60% of the workforce is engaged in agriculture, most of which are outdoor workers. At a time of wheat harvest in India, millions of people face a difficult choice between working in dangerous weather or giving up their livelihood.
After the outbreak of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, India is one of the few food producers capable of alleviating global wheat shortages, but the local harvest is being hit by extreme heat waves, according to Bloomberg. The Indian government is negotiating to limit domestic wheat exports in order to protect domestic supply, according to people familiar with the matter.
Demodalun, a senior researcher at the Indian Policy Research Center, warned that because of the heat wave, India may not be able to make up for the wheat supply gap caused by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Some analysts say that global food prices, which are already on an upward trend, are likely to be pushed up further.
Is climate warming the "culprit"? Expert: human beings will experience more severe hot weather.
Extreme high temperatures are not uncommon in South Asia. However, the current heat wave has attracted attention because of its early start, wide coverage and severity.
The US VOX news network said that the heat wave originated from the high pressure system formed over the South Asian subcontinent. This system not only compresses the clouds, but also compresses and heats the air. If there are no clouds above, the sun will shine directly on the ground, taking away the moisture that would have helped to cool the air. As the pressure increases, the sun continues to scorch the ground, and heat waves form.
Indian meteorological official Mohapatra said that the reduction in precipitation is one of the key factors causing the heat wave, with rainfall in northwestern India falling by about 89% in March and nearly 83% in April. He also said that the local area will continue to experience higher-than-normal temperatures in May.
Scientists point the "culprit" to global warming.
"there is no doubt that climate change plays a role, although we have to consider other factors," CBS quoted Mishra, a meteorological scientist, as saying.
Mishra said that mankind will experience more severe extreme hot weather in the next 20 to 30 years, and the recent heat wave in India is just a "microcosm". He further pointed out: "there is no doubt that in the future heat waves will occur more frequently, last longer, and cover a larger area of the Indian subcontinent." It will affect water supply, agriculture, commerce and energy demand. "
The report also quoted a report from India's Ministry of Geosciences as saying that by the middle of the 21st century, the average frequency of summer heat waves in the country will increase to about 2.5 per year, and will further increase to about 3 by the end of the century.
The US VOX news network also pointed out that scientists have long warned that more frequent and extreme heat waves are one of the most direct consequences of rising global average temperatures.
As for the threat of heat wave, VOX believes that there is no quick or easy solution, because climate change is a long-term problem that has been brewing for more than a century, and it will take decades or more to adjust urban construction and economic structure alone. (end)