Since 2001 and up to 2021, every year has been warmer than normal. It is very likely that the heatwave this year could see India break new records
Will 2022 be one of those defining years for India, when it comes to climate change? Why 2022? Because we are only in June. More than half the year remains and we are already seeing new heat records being set across the country.
It is well-known that March 2022 was the hottest March since 1901, when meteorological records keeping began in India. But a new ebook by Down To Earth, has reported that 2022 also had the highest number of heatwave days in the past 10 years.
Down to Earth’s State of India’s Environment 2022: In Figures states that the country recorded 280 heatwave days in the first six months of the year. Heatwave days are the total number of heatwave incidents across the country in a particular year.
For example, if heatwave conditions prevailed in Delhi and Rajasthan for five days each, the sum of Delhi and Rajasthan will be the total number of heatwave days, which is 10.
According to this Down to Earth ebook, before 2022, the year 2010 held the record with 279 heatwave days. In 2022, the number of such days almost doubled. Rajasthan at 39 had the highest number of heatwave days in the country, followed by Madhya Pradesh with 38 days.
Interestingly, the mountainous state of Himachal Pradesh (27 days) and Gujarat (25 days) also figure in the top 10 states with heatwave days. The ebook also states that 11 of the 15 warmest years in India were recorded between 2007 and 2021.
The year 2021 had the highest average temperatures with an anomaly of 0.71°C. What is alarming is the fact that between 1901 and 2000 — a period of about 100 years — there were only nine times when temperatures in India were above the longtime average.
But since 2001 and up to 2021, every year has been warmer than normal. It is very likely that the heatwave this year could see India break new records.
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