Heatwave occurrences increasing in India, occurring in new regions: study

What is the news? 

A recent analysis by the Banaras Hindu University (BHU), in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology(DST) and the Ministry of Earth Sciences(MoES), has found a spatial shift of heatwaves in India. With this shift weather events are now occurring in new regions in the country. 

About the study

The study has looked at temperature data from the India Meteorological Department, spanning 65 years from 1951-2016, to assess the monthly, seasonal, decadal and long-term trends in heatwaves in the country.  

What are the key findings of the study?

The study has found a warming pattern over northwestern and southern India, while a progressive cooling phase over northeastern and southwest regions of the country. 

The study found three prominent heatwave prone regions — northwestern, central, and south-central India, with the highest being in west Madhya Pradesh (0.80 events/year). 

The study has also found a significant decrease in heatwaves over the eastern region, that is Gangetic West Bengal (−0.13events/year).

The study has also found severe heatwave events have shown a “southward expansion and a spatial surge during the decades of 2001–2010 and 2010–2016”. The increase in heatwaves in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are particularly significant and will increase in the future.

What is Heatwave? 

A Heat Wave is a period of abnormally high temperatures, more than the normal maximum temperature, that occurs during summer. 

Read more: What is Heatwave? 

Source: This post is based on the article “Heatwave occurrences increasing in India, occurring in new regions: study” published in “Indian Express” on 11th October 2021. 

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