By Biswajeet Banerjee
Lucknow: In recent weeks, Uttar Pradesh has been hit by scorching temperatures, leading to reports of several fatalities due to heat-aggravated pre-existing diseases. Now, a recent analysis has established a direct link between the heatwave in the state and climate change.
The study, conducted using the parameters of the Climate Shift Index (CSI), reveals that the probability of a fatal heatwave in Uttar Pradesh has doubled.
The Climate Shift Index (CSI), developed by Climate Central, an independent group of American scientists and communicators, serves as a tool to gauge the impact of climate change on daily temperatures. It serves as a tool to gauge the impact of climate change on daily temperatures. This index measures how frequently and significantly a location’s temperature has deviated from its historical average.
A higher CSI figure on a scale of 1 to 5 indicates an increased likelihood of rising temperatures.
During the heatwave, temperatures soared to record highs, surpassing all previous records. Urban areas, especially densely populated cities like Lucknow and Kanpur, experienced scorching temperatures exceeding 43 degrees Celsius. Such extreme heat posed significant health risks and resulted in a surge in heat-related illnesses and fatalities.
“As greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, the Earth’s average temperature is steadily increasing. This global warming trend directly contributes to the intensity and frequency of heat waves. Uttar Pradesh’s heatwave aligns with this pattern, serving as a stark reminder of the urgent need to mitigate climate change,” Dr S B Tyagi, a climate change expert said.
An Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report mentions that climate change is likely to be accompanied by an increase in the frequency and intensity of heat waves.
To assess the impact of climate change on Uttar Pradesh’s heatwave, the analysis measured the CSI level. If the CSI surpasses 1, it signifies the influence of climate change. A figure ranging between two and five indicates a two to fivefold escalation in the likelihood of temperature increase due to climate change.
The analysis of Uttar Pradesh’s heatwave unveiled that certain regions have reached a CSI level of three, implying that the probability of temperature rise due to climate change has amplified by at least three times. The researchers at Climate Central emphasize that their findings reveal a twofold increase in the likelihood of a severe heatwave linked to anthropogenic climate change during the three-day period between June 14 and 16.
These findings shed light on the growing impact of climate change on extreme weather events, such as heat waves, and emphasize the urgent need for action to mitigate its effects. As temperatures continue to rise, it is essential for policymakers, communities, and individuals to prioritize climate adaptation and resilience measures to safeguard vulnerable populations from the escalating threats posed by heat waves and other climate-related hazards.
“The analysis serves as a reminder that climate change is not a distant concern but a present reality with significant consequences. Urgent steps towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions and implementing sustainable practices are crucial to limit further exacerbation of heatwaves and safeguard the well-being of communities not just in Uttar Pradesh but around the world,” Dr. Tyagi said.
–Writer Biswajeet Banerjee, a senior journalist of Uttar Pradesh based in Lucknow, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org