Jun 3, 2015

The Climate Context for India’s Deadly Heat Wave

Chandrapur, Maharashtra1
Jharsuguda, Odisha1
Hyderabad, Telangana
Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh3
Khammam, Telangana1
New Delhi, Delhi1
Daltonganj, Jharkhand
Palamau, Madhya Pradesh
Nagpur, Maharashtra1
Andrea Thompson
Climate Central
No stranger to heat. Image: Zuma Press
No stranger to heat. Image: Zuma Press

While India is no stranger to heat waves this time of year, before the monsoon kicks in and brings relief with its rains, this event was notable because it has been so lethal so quickly. The severity of the event came from a deadly combination of meteorology, possibly with a boost from climate change, and highly vulnerable populations. Such oppressive heat waves are likely to become more common in a warming world. That is one of the more robust links in climate science, but teasing out such a connection with specific, local events can be difficult.