Last updated October 10, 2018

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