It was a record-breaking Delhi heat wave between March and May this year, with one weather station recording 49.2 degrees Celsius, increasing the vulnerability of Delhi’s low-income, informal settlement population, according to a report from the WMO.
Delhi’s Record Breaking Heat Wave
The average summer temperature is usually 36-38 degree C. In some regions of the city, the temperature soared to 49 degree C in mid-May. India saw its warmest March overall since records began 122 years ago. According to anecdotal evidence, Delhi residents claim that such high temperatures were once unusual. According to climatologists, the protracted heatwave is unquestionably a result of global warming.
Why Heat Wave in Delhi is a Major Concern?
A place or site is considered to be experiencing a heatwave if the hottest temperature there reaches or exceeds 40 degrees Celsius in the plains or 30 degrees Celsius in hilly areas. 37 degrees is the greatest temperature requirement for coastal zones.
A heatwave is defined by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) as a maximum temperature difference of 4.5 to 6 degrees. For instance, a heatwave is present when the average temperature in a place is 40 degrees, and the recorded temperature is 45 degrees. Similarly, a severe heatwave is declared when a location’s highest temperature deviates from the average by more than 6.4 degrees.
Delhi experienced days with highs of 42 degrees Celsius or higher 16 times in 2019. According to the records, there were no such days in Delhi in 1953, 1954, or 1971. Despite limited rainfall and weak western disturbances, scorching heat waves ravaged areas of India in March and April, bringing in the start of summer.
Wmo Report (World Meteorological Organization) on Delhi Climate Change
Recent attribution research highlighted in the paper titled “United in Science,” which was published on Sept 13 Tuesday, found that the prolonged hot weather in Delhi was 30 times more likely due to climate change than it would have been in a pre-industrial climate.
According to the study, by 2050, more than 1.6 billion people in more than 970 cities will routinely experience three-month average temperatures of at least 35 degrees Celsius.
The report revealed that greenhouse gas concentrations are now at all-time highs. After a brief decline brought on by lockdowns, fossil fuel emission rates are currently higher than before the pandemic.
Cities home to billions of people and producing up to 70% of the world’s emissions will experience growing socioeconomic effects. This year’s Delhi heat wave illustrates how disadvantaged communities are most likely to suffer.