scorecard
  1. Home
  2. india
  3. India braces for more intense scorching as longest-ever heatwave spell hits the country, warns IMD chief

India braces for more intense scorching as longest-ever heatwave spell hits the country, warns IMD chief

India braces for more intense scorching as longest-ever heatwave spell hits the country, warns IMD chief
India's weather woes continue as the country grapples with the longest heatwave ever recorded, according to the head of the India Meteorological Department (IMD). The scorching temperatures, which have gripped parts of northern India since mid-May, are expected to worsen in the coming years due to climate change.

This has been the longest spell because it has been going on for about 24 days in different parts of the country, Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, chief of the IMD, told the Indian Express. Temperatures have skyrocketed to over 45°C in some regions, even reaching a record-tying 49.2°C in New Delhi.

While the monsoon rains expected later this month may bring some temporary relief, Mohapatra warned that heatwaves will be more frequent, durable and intense, if precautionary or preventive measures are not taken.

India, the world's third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, faces an uphill battle. The country aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2070, but its heavy reliance on coal for power generation poses a significant challenge.

Mohapatra pointed to human activities like industrialisation and transportation as key contributors to rising greenhouse gas concentrations, including carbon monoxide, methane, and chlorocarbons. We are endangering not only ourselves, but also our future generations, he cautioned.

The scorching heat has pushed India's electricity grid to its limit, with a record peak power demand of 8,302 megawatts. While an automatic weather station in Delhi initially recorded a staggering 52.9°C on May 29, the IMD has confirmed the reading was due to a faulty sensor. Other stations in Delhi did record highs of 49°C that same day.

He also emphasised the importance of regular maintenance for automatic weather stations, acknowledging that factors like birds or monkeys can disrupt their functionality while assuring that inspections are conducted every six months.

As India battles the immediate heatwave, the country must also confront the long-term threat of climate change by implementing sustainable practices and transitioning away from fossil fuels.

(With inputs from agencies)

READ MORE ARTICLES ON




Advertisement