Extreme temperatures manifest in India and Pakistan. The region has suffered above-average temperatures for weeks now, affecting with dangerous levels hundreds of millions of people. Temperatures have topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit across much of the region and have jumped above 110 F in many areas, even higher in some Pakistan areas. The city of Nawabshah topped it the next day with a staggering 121.1 F, believed to be the highest reliably recorded April temperature ever observed in the Northern Hemisphere. India also had its hottest March in 122 years of recorded history. Extreme heat kills at least 25 in India’s Maharashtra state, many in rural areas. More than a billion people in India and neighbouring Pakistan are in some way vulnerable to the extreme heat. With increasingly frequent power outages in some parts of India, even households that can afford air conditioners have problems. Refrigerators cannot function.
The heatwave has already had a devastating impact on crops, including wheat and various fruits and vegetables. Locals are unable to work except during the cooler night hours. “Temperatures are rising rapidly in the country, and rising much earlier than usual,” India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a recent conference with the country’s heads of state governments last week. Studies consistently indicate that heat waves are growing more severe around the world as global temperatures rise. The risk of heat waves in India is likely to increase tenfold by the end of the century. the heatwave should be a wake-up call to the international community. “Climate and weather events are here to stay and will in fact only accelerate in their scale and intensity if global leaders don’t act now,” warned Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s minister for climate.