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Home » Deadly heat waves will become more common in South Asia, say scientists

Deadly heat waves will become more common in South Asia, say scientists

Deadly heat waves will become more common in South Asia, say scientists

Potentially deadly heat waves will likely become more commonplace in South Asian countries, including India, in the coming decades even if global warming is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius

Potentially deadly heat waves will likely become more commonplace in South Asian countries, including India, in the coming decades even if global warming is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to a new study.

Scientists, including those from Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the US, said such an increase in extreme heat events can create unsafe labour conditions in major crop producing parts of India, such as Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, as well as coastal regions and urban centres like Kolkata, Mumbai, and Hyderabad.

According to the research, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, with two degrees of warming, the population's exposure to lethal temperatures rises by close to three times as compared to recent years.

"The future looks bad for South Asia, but the worst can be avoided by containing warming to as low as possible. The need for adaptation over South Asia is today, not in the future. It's not a choice anymore," said Moetasim Ashfaq, study co-author from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

"Even at 1.5 degrees, South Asia will have serious consequences in terms of heat stress. That's why there is a need to radically alter the current trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions," Ashfaq added.

In the study, the researchers used climate simulations and projections of future population growth to estimate the number of people who will experience dangerous levels of heat stress in South Asia at global warming levels of 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius.

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