HomeTrending NewsRecord-Breaking April Temperatures Grip Eastern and Peninsular India Amid General Elections

Record-Breaking April Temperatures Grip Eastern and Peninsular India Amid General Elections

As the nation remains gripped by the ongoing polling for the 2024 general elections, eastern and peninsular India has been facing an unprecedented heatwave, with temperatures soaring to record-breaking levels throughout April. Scientists attribute this scorching heat to the looming climate crisis, underscoring the urgent need for climate action.

According to data from the Meteorological Department, April marked the warmest on record in eastern and northeastern India in terms of night temperatures since 1901, and the third warmest in mean temperatures. Similarly, it was the second warmest April in the peninsula in terms of maximum, minimum, and mean temperatures.

The sweltering conditions have been exacerbated by factors such as El Nino and climate change, as explained by OP Sreejith, head of climate monitoring and prediction at the weather office. Unfortunately, the extreme temperatures have not been without consequences, although official data on heat-related deaths is yet to be compiled. Sreejith highlights that heat-related fatalities often occur due to complications such as organ failure.

In stark contrast, April saw milder weather in the northwest, including the capital Delhi, owing to consecutive western disturbances that helped regulate temperatures. Despite this, the country as a whole experienced its ninth warmest April on record.

El Nino, a weather phenomenon in the tropical Pacific Ocean associated with weaker monsoons and drier weather in India, played a significant role in the warmest April recorded for peninsular India in 2016. Former secretary at the earth sciences ministry, M Rajeevan, notes that similar episodes may persist in the coming days, particularly over central and northwest India.

Recent days have seen an alarming escalation of temperatures across several regions, with severe heatwaves reported in Gangetic West Bengal, Jharkhand, and Andhra Pradesh. Stations in West Bengal recorded temperatures well above normal, with Baharagora in Jharkhand reaching a scorching 47.1 degrees Celsius. Notably, Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapur reported its highest-ever temperature of 44.6 degrees Celsius.

Mahesh Palawat, vice-president of climate and meteorology at Skymet Weather Services, describes the situation as unprecedented, with extreme heat persisting for over a week in several areas. He attributes the phenomenon to the prevailing anti-cyclone over the Bay of Bengal, resulting in landward winds and soaring temperatures across central and southern India.

As India grapples with the dual challenges of soaring temperatures and ongoing elections, urgent measures are needed to address the root causes of climate change and mitigate its impact on vulnerable communities across the country.

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