Omid Mazdiyasni, Amir AghaKouchak, Steven J. Davis, Shahrbanou Madadgar, Ali Mehran, Elisa Ragno, Mojtaba Sadegh, Ashmita Sengupta, Subimal Ghosh, C. T. Dhanya, Mohsen Niknejad

Science Advances

Published date June 7, 2017

Increasing probability of mortality during Indian heat waves

  • States that rising global temperatures are causing increases in the frequency and severity of extreme climatic events, such as floods, droughts, and heat waves
  • Analyzes changes in summer temperatures, the frequency, severity, and duration of heat waves, and heat-related mortality in India between 1960 and 2009 using data from the India Meteorological Department
  • Finds that mean temperatures across India have risen >0.5°C over this period, with statistically significant increases in heat waves
  • Uses a novel probabilistic model to further show that the increase in summer mean temperatures in India over this period corresponds to a 146% increase in the probability of heat-related mortality events of more than 100 people
  • Results suggest that future climate warming will lead to substantial increases in heat-related mortality, particularly in developing low-latitude countries such as India
  • Findings indicate that even moderate increases in mean temperatures may cause great increases in heat-related mortality