Delhi suffers at 49C as heatwave sweeps India
Comment of the Day

May 16 2022

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Delhi suffers at 49C as heatwave sweeps India

This article from the BBC may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

The effects are visible. Farmers say the unexpected temperature spikes have affected their wheat harvest, a development that could potentially have global consequences given supply disruptions due to the Ukraine war.

The heat has also triggered an increase in power demand, leading to outages in many states and fears of a coal shortage.

Mr Modi also flagged the increased risk of fires due to rising temperatures.


D Sivananda Pai, director of the Institute for Climate Change Studies, points to other challenges apart from climate change - such as increasing population and the resulting strain on resources.

This, in turn, leads to factors that worsen the situation, such as deforestation and increasing use of transport.

"When you have more concrete roads and buildings, heat is trapped inside without being able to rise to the surface. This warms the air further," Mr Pai says.

And the cost of such extreme weather events is disproportionately borne by the poor.

Eoin Treacy's view

Anyone who has suffered through a muggy August in London will be familiar with the heat well effect created by concrete structures and air conditioners pouring hot air into the street.

That’s for a country that does not typically get temperatures approaching 40 degrees. For India, where pre-monsoon heat waves are typical, the urgency to industrialise is creating some unique issues.

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