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Climate Change – Heat Waves

Heat wave - Ekam IAS
UPSC Current Affairs

Climate Change – Heat Waves

  • A heat wave is a period of abnormally high temperatures, more than the normal maximum temperature that occurs during the summer season in the North-Western and South Central parts of India.
  • According to the TNQ­-Janelia Climate Change Summit, India is gripped in the throes of a long spell of heatwaves and there is compelling evidence that a significant portion of it is due to human-­induced climate change.
  • The India Meteorological Department (IMD) requires that temperatures should reach at least 40℃ in the plains and at least 30℃ in the hilly regions, and should reflect an increase of at least 5℃-6℃ above the normal temperature to be classified as a heatwave.
  • The combination of global warming and population growth in already-warm cities in India is the primary driver of increased heat exposure.
  • India, along with Bangladesh and Pakistan, recorded the greatest losses to work hours (295 billion hours) due to heat exposure in 2020, according to the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change released in 2021.
  • India has become 15% more vulnerable to extremes of heat than in 1990.
  • More recently, most parts of western Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and parts of Gujarat, Odisha are reeling under severe heat wave-like conditions, with maximum temperatures hovering well over 40℃.
UPSC Prelims Model Question

Q. Consider the following statements :

  1. A heat wave is a period of abnormally high temperatures, occurs during the summer season in the North-Western parts of India.
  2. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) requires that temperature of the wave should reach at least 30℃ in the plains.

Which of the statements given above is /are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

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