Average annual temperatures in Mumbai and Delhi will rise by 5 degrees Celsius between 2080 and 1999 if the global trend in carbon dioxide emissions continues and will double by 2050, Greenpeace India has predicted. Greenpeace’s report on India’s heat wave projections is based on the sixth assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
According to the report, Delhi’s annual maximum temperature (the median of the June record from 1995 to 2014) will rise to 45.97 degrees Celsius between 2080 and 2099 from the current median of 41.93 degrees Celsius. Maximum temperatures can reach 48.19 degrees Celsius in “some extreme years”.
During the recent heat wave, Delhi recorded 43 degrees Celsius on April 29, which was significantly higher than the average maximum temperature for April. Historical data suggests that only 4 years have recorded a temperature above 43 degrees Celsius for the month of April.
In the same scenario of doubling carbon emissions, Mumbai and Pune will also see a temperature increase of 5 degrees Celsius with a maximum temperature increase of 4.2 degrees Celsius.
According to Greenpeace India’s heatwave assessment, inland cities are at a significantly higher risk of heatwaves. The temperature rise is expected to have severe impacts on cities like Delhi, Lucknow, Patna, Jaipur and Kolkata which share similar temperature patterns. However, the coastal city of Chennai will be 4 degrees Celsius warmer than currently on average, with the maximum temperature increasing by 3.7 degrees Celsius.
The drastic increase in temperature will lead to unprecedented and prolonged heat waves, extreme weather, increased hospitalizations and deaths, and irreparable damage to agriculture and wildlife. The most vulnerable populations, including the urban poor, outdoor workers, women, children, the elderly and sexual minorities, will be significantly more at risk, as they do not have adequate access to protective measures .
“If we don’t act now, the threat will only increase in frequency, duration and magnitude.” said Avinash Chanchal, Campaign Manager, Greenpeace India.
(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)
First post: STI