- Record-Breaking Heat Sweeps Across Asia
- India’s Driest and Warmest August on Record
- Global Warming’s Impact on Heatwaves and Their Lethal Consequences
This August was the warmest and driest in India, the world’s most populous nation, since national records began more than a century ago.
The month occurs in the middle of India’s annual monsoon, which typically brings 80 percent of the country’s annual precipitation.
Nevertheless, despite torrential rains that caused deadly flooding in the country’s north earlier this month, overall precipitation has been significantly below average.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) reported that August’s average precipitation was 161.7 millimeters, which was 30.1% less than the previous record set in 2005.
This has caused the country to experience unrelenting heat. The lack of precipitation and feeble monsoon conditions are the primary cause, according to the IMD.
The weather agency reported that from June to August, temperatures in the north, east, and west of the country were “considerably higher” than average.
In several regions, “not only maximum temperatures but also minimum temperatures” reached record highs, according to the report.
This winter in Australia was the highest on record, with an average temperature of 16.75 degrees Celsius between June and August.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, this is just a whisker above the 1996 record and the highest average winter temperature since 1910, when records began.
Greater intensity and frequency
Already this year, global warming has caused record-breaking high temperatures, with July being the warmest month ever recorded on Earth.
In addition, the strengthening El Nino weather pattern could intensify the heat, though its effects are likely to become more pronounced later in the year.
Heatwaves are one of the worst natural dangers, killing hundreds of thousands of people each year.
In developed nations, adaptations such as air conditioning can aid in mitigating the effects.
Small infants and the elderly are less able to regulate their body temperatures and are thus more susceptible to the effects of heat.
Those who must labor outdoors are also particularly vulnerable. Even a robust young adult will perish after six hours of exposure to 35 degrees Celsius and 100 percent humidity.
However, experts warn that extreme heat does not need to approach that level to murder people.
John Nairn, a senior adviser on extreme heat for the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), stated last month that heatwaves are “becoming significantly more dangerous.”
“It is the consequence of global warming that is emerging the quickest,” he told AFP in an interview.
“People are far too relaxed about the signs,” he lamented. It will only intensify and become more frequent.