This Article is From May 23, 2023

As Heatwaves Bake South Asia, Study Says Temperature Reached "Extremely Dangerous" Level

In the study, researchers warned of the effects of climate change-induced rise in temperature.

As Heatwaves Bake South Asia, Study Says Temperature Reached 'Extremely Dangerous' Level

The study warned about extreme temperatures in India and other Southeast Asian countries.

Countries in South and Southeast Asia baked in record-breaking heatwaves in April with the temperature rising well above 40 degrees Celsius. While temperature in Bangladesh reached its highest level in 50 years, Thailand registered a record 45 degrees Celsius and Laos exceeded 42 degrees Celsius. Such heatwaves were made "30 times more likely" as a result of human-induced climate change, an international team of scientists said on Wednesday. They also said that many cities in India may face maximum temperature 7-8 degrees hotter than the current levels.

The grim predictions have been made in a report called Rapid Attribution Analysis released by World Weather Attribution group.

The team of scientists that created the report studied heat and humidity levels in Southeast Asian countries and concluded that they were at least 2 degrees Celsius hotter as a result of underlying climate change, which has seen average global temperatures rise 1.2 degrees Celsius since 1900.

"The estimated heat index values exceeded the threshold considered as "dangerous" (41 degrees Celsius) over the large parts of the South Asian regions studied. In a few areas, it neared the range of "extremely dangerous" values (above 54 degrees Celsius) under which the body temperature is difficult to be maintained," the study said.

Researchers further said in the study that their observations show a strong increase in likelihood and intensity of April humid heat events similar to that of 2023.

"The combined results give an increase in the likelihood of such an event to occur of at least a factor of 30 over India and Bangladesh due to human-induced climate change. At the same time, a heatwave with a chance of occurrence of 20% (1 in 5 years) in any given year over India and Bangladesh is now about 2 degrees Celsius hotter in heat index than it would be in a climate not warmed by human activities," the report said.

These trends will continue with further warming, the report said, adding that this humid heat event could be expected every 1-2 years.