Why India is Facing Record Heat in 2024: Hottest April Since 1901
Why India is Facing Record Heat in 2024: Hottest April Since 1901

India is experiencing its hottest year on record in 2024, with April setting new temperature highs unseen since records began in 1901. The sweltering conditions are primarily driven by two key factors: the ongoing El Niño event and the long-term effects of climate change.

El Niño, a climate phenomenon characterized by elevated sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, is intensifying global weather patterns. This disruption is contributing to soaring temperatures across India. Concurrently, the persistent rise in global temperatures due to climate change is exacerbating the situation, setting the stage for 2024 to potentially surpass 2023 as the hottest year ever recorded.

The current El Niño event, reaching its peak earlier this year, has resulted in global temperatures rising by approximately 1.6°C above pre-industrial levels. Over the past ten months, each month has consecutively set new all-time temperature records, with April 2024 marking the eleventh month in this unprecedented streak.

The first quarter of the year has seen record-high temperatures across significant portions of the globe, including the tropical Atlantic and western Pacific oceans, South America, Central Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Indian Ocean.

Carbon Brief, a climate science organization, forecasts that 2024 will likely see global temperatures averaging around 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. While exact predictions remain challenging, this projection indicates that 2024 is virtually assured to be either the warmest or the second-warmest year on record.

The intense global temperatures in early 2024 are primarily driven by the peak El Niño conditions, superimposed on the long-term human-induced warming trend of approximately 1.3°C since the mid-19th century.

As India continues to grapple with these extreme temperatures, authorities are emphasizing the need for adaptive measures to mitigate the impacts of heatwaves and protect vulnerable populations.

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