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India experiences longest heatwave on record

Photo: Mukesh Gupta Agence France-Presse Scientists have demonstrated that climate change is causing longer and more intense waves.

France Media Agency in New Delhi, India

Posted at 9:16 a.m.

  • Asia

The heat wave currently gripping India is the longest ever recorded in the country, the director of the Indian Meteorological Department said on Monday, warning of increasingly relentless temperatures.

Certain regions of northern India have been in the grip of an exceptional heat wave since mid-May, with temperatures exceeding 45 degrees Celsius.

“This is the longest [heat] period as it lasted for around 24 days in different parts of the country,” said Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, the country's leading weather expert, in an interview with the Indian Express daily.

The mercury is expected to fall as monsoon rains move north in late June, but Mr Mohapatra warned that these harsh conditions are likely to be repeated in the future.

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“Heat waves will be more frequent, longer lasting and more intense if precautionary or preventive measures are not taken,” he said.

India is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. The country has committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2070, two decades after most industrialized Western countries.

For now, India is heavily dependent on coal for its electricity generation.

« Human activities, population increase, industrialization and transportation are leading to increased concentrations of carbon monoxide, methane and chlorocarbons,” said Mr. Mohapatra.

“We are endangering not only ourselves, but also future generations.”

Scientific research has shown that climate change is causing longer, more frequent and more intense heat waves across the planet.

India's latest heatwave saw temperatures in New Delhi equal the capital's previous record of 49.2°C, recorded in 2022.

May 29 , an automatic weather station located in Mungeshpur, a suburb of Delhi, recorded a record temperature for India of 52.9°C, but this recorded temperature was due to a faulty sensor, authorities later said.

Elsewhere in Delhi, 17 other stations reached a maximum of 49°C on the same day

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116