Heatwave chances have doubled in UP because of climate change

An independent US-based group, Climate Central, developed the Climate Shift Index to quantify the contribution of climate change to daily temperatures

Representative image (photo: IANS)
Representative image (photo: IANS)


Chances of heat wave in Uttar Pradesh have doubled because of climate change, says an analysis conducted using a metric called the Climate Shift Index.

An independent US-based group of scientists and communicators, Climate Central, developed the tool which quantifies the contribution of climate change to daily temperatures.

Ballia recorded 68 patient deaths at the district hospital in five days till June 19 amid a punishing heat wave in the region. Officials, however, said only two people died due to heat stroke. According to media reports, the neighbouring Deoria district also saw deaths amid extreme heat. Researchers at Climate Central conducted the analysis using CSI, which measures how often and how much temperatures have shifted from the historical average. A higher index indicates more dramatic change compared to the past.

CSI levels above one indicate climate change. Levels between two and five mean that climate change made those temperatures between two to five times more likely.

The analysis shows that certain parts of Uttar Pradesh reached CSI levels of three, indicating temperatures that have become at least three times more likely due to climate change.

New analysis shows that a three-day extreme heat event over Uttar Pradesh from June 14-16 was made at least two times more likely by human-caused climate change, researchers at Climate Central said.

According to them, extreme temperatures coupled with high humidity contributed to the severity of the event.

"We see again and again that climate change dramatically increases the frequency and intensity of heat waves, one of the deadliest weather events that exist. Our most recent World Weather Attribution (WWA) study has shown that this has been recognised in India, but the implementation of heat action plans is slow,” said Friederike Otto, the co-lead of WWA, a panel of international experts studying the role of climate change in extreme weather events.

He added, “It needs to be an absolute priority adaptation action everywhere.”

In April, heat and long exposure to the sun claimed 13 lives at a function in Navi Mumbai's Kharghar.

Medical experts say heat stroke occurs when the body's temperature regulation system fails and it overheats.

Common symptoms include a very high body temperature, rapid breathing, rapid heart rate, altered mental state and sometimes dry skin or absence of sweating. However, these symptoms can also occur in other medical emergencies, making it difficult to immediately identify heat stroke as the cause of death.

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