According to a new report, severe heat waves, which have caused thousands of deaths across India over the past few decades, are occurring more frequently than ever before. Soon, the nation may experience heat waves that are too intense for humans to survive, making it one of the first places in the world to do so.
The World Bank report titled "Climate Investment Opportunities in India's Cooling Sector" said the country is experiencing higher temperatures that arrive earlier and stay far longer.
"In April 2022, India was plunged into the grip of a punishing early spring heat wave that brought the country to a standstill, with temperatures in the capital, New Delhi, topping 46 degrees Celsius (114 degrees Fahrenheit). The month of March, which witnessed extraordinary spikes in temperatures, was the hottest ever recorded", it said.
The two-day "India Climate and Development Partners' Meet," which is being organised by the World Bank in collaboration with the Kerala government, will include the report's release.
"In August 2021, the Sixth Assessment Report of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that the Indian subcontinent would suffer more frequent and intense heat waves over the coming decade.
"The G20 Climate Risk Atlas also warned in 2021 that heat waves across India were likely to last 25 times longer by 2036-65 if carbon emissions remain high, as in the IPCC's worst-case emission scenario," the report said.
Additionally, it issued a warning that India's growing heat could endanger economic output. According to the report, "up to 75% of India's workforce, or 380 million people, depend on heat-exposed labor, sometimes working in potentially lethal temperatures.... By 2030, India may account for 34 million of the projected 80 million job losses worldwide from heat stress-associated productivity decline.