In news:

Recently, India has been experiencing an unusual influx of heat waves. Temperatures have been soaring in an unrestrained manner over the past one month and a comparative study done by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the past 30 days shows a yellowish blanket all over the country.

Heat Wave:

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 parts of India.

Heat Waves typically occur between March and June, and in some rare cases even extend till July.

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Temperature criteria : IMD

Previous such event:

In May 2015, India was struck by a severe heat wave. As of 3 June 2015, it has caused the deaths of at least 2,500 people in multiple regions.

Heat wave and climate change:

Impacts of heat waves:

Churu in Rajasthan recorded 50 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, the district’s second-highest maximum temperature for May in the past 10 years. The Palam Observatory in Delhi on Wednesday recorded the highest maximum temperature at 47.2 degrees Celsius, slightly less than Tuesday’s 47.6 degrees Celsius.

Why the current event is unusual:

Heat waves usually occur by May 15.however, this year it be given by May 22 and is expected to last up to May 29.

 This is attributed to two factors :

Mitigation measures – Ahmedabad heat action plan:

Disseminating public messages on how to protect people through media outlets, social media and orientation materials.

Special efforts to reach vulnerable populations through inter-personal communication from March to June annually.

The AMC has created formal communication channels to alert government agencies, health officials and hospitals, emergency responders, local community groups, and media outlets of extreme temperatures forecasted by the IMD.

Such effective heat wave action plans are to be replicated in all states that are vulnerable to extreme heat events.

In the coming years India will be witnessing many such events. It should be ready to mitigate, adapt and become resilient to them. The above measures are to be implemented effectively.

Source:” NDMA“.

Possible UPSC CSE Mains Question:

India has been experiencing intense heat waves in recent years. Discuss the reason behind such events. What mitigation measures could be taken?