India could soon face heat waves beyond human endurance: World Bank

India could soon face heat waves beyond human endurance: World Bank

The World Bank report titled “Climate Investment Opportunities in India’s Cooling Sector” said the country is experiencing higher temperatures that may reach earlier and stay far longer, reported PTI.

“In April 2022, India was plunged into the grip of a punishing early spring heat wave that brought the country to a standstill, with temperatures in the capital, New Delhi, topping 46 degrees Celsius (114 degrees Fahrenheit). The month of March, which witnessed extraordinary spikes in temperatures, was the hottest ever recorded”, it said.

“The G20 Climate Risk Atlas also warned in 2021 that heat waves across India were likely to last 25 times longer by 2036-65 if carbon emissions remain high, as in the IPCC’s worst-case emission scenario,” the report further read.

Mentioning the effect of the heatwave on food and public health, the report said, “A single temperature lapse in the journey can break the cold chain, spoiling fresh produce and weakening the potency of vaccines. With only 4 percent of fresh produce in India covered by cold chain facilities, annual estimated food losses total $13 billion”, it said.

While mentioning the effect of the heatwave on the Indian Economy, the report said- “Up to 75% of India’s workforce, or 380 million people, depend on heat-exposed labor, at times working in potentially life-threatening temperatures. …By 2030, India may account for 34 million of the projected 80 million global job losses from heat stress associated productivity decline”,

According to one study, if the global mean temperature increases by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius from the pre-industrial level, the proportion of the total population and urban area that will be exposed to successive extremes will rise rapidly.

According to the researchers, under the lowest emission scenario, the length of a heatwave will grow from an average of 3 days in the current climate (1981-2010) to 11 days by the end of the twenty-first century (2071-2100). However, they predicted that the extension of heat waves would increase to 33 days by the end of the century.



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