Hundreds Killed in India from Heat Waves, New Hottest Temperature Record in Asia

Hundreds died in India in May due to heat waves with record high temperatures. Meanwhile, a town in Pakistan set the new record for highest temperature ever recorded in Asia!

Following the hottest April and hottest January-April on record, monthly heat records have been set for May across the globe again and the 12-month global record has hit a record high again as well.

As a result of all this hot weather (and since we are entering the hotter months of the year), some countries are seeing hundreds of deaths due to heat waves.

Jason Burke of the Guardian reports:

The death toll is expected to rise with experts forecasting temperatures approaching 50C (122F) in coming weeks. More than 100 people are reported to have died in the state of Gujarat where the mercury topped at 48.5C last week. At least 90 died in Maharashtra, 35 in Rajasthan and 34 in Bihar.

Hospitals in Gujarat have been receiving around 300 people a day suffering from food poisoning and heat stroke, ministers said. Officials admit the figures are only a fraction of the total as most of the casualties are found in remote rural villages.

Record High Temperatures to Increase

Unfortunately, as Joe Romm over at Climate Progress says, “if you like it hot, you ain’t seen nothing yet.” Heat records have been much more frequent than cold records in recent years (see graph below), but that is predicted to get much worse. The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in the news release of a major new study on this matter reports this:

The modeling results indicate that if nations continue to increase their emissions of greenhouse gases in a ‘business as usual’ scenario, the U.S. ratio of daily record high to record low temperatures would increase to about 20-to-1 by mid-century and 50-to-1 by 2100.

Highest Recorded Temperature in History of Asia

Several places in Asia are setting heat records, but meteorologist Dr. Jeff Master over Wunderblog reports that a town in Pakistan has now set a new heat record for all of Asia:

A hellish heat wave hit Pakistan last week, sending the mercury to an astonishing 53.5°C (128.3°F) at the town of MohenjuDaro on Wednesday May 26, reported the Pakistani Meteorological Department. While this temperature reading must be reviewed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) for authenticity, not only is the 128.3°F reading the hottest temperature ever recorded in Pakistan, it is the hottest reliably measured temperature ever recorded on the continent of Asia. This information comes to me courtesy of Chris Burt, the author of Extreme Weather, who is probably the world’s foremost expert on extreme weather records.

Things are looking bad over in Asia, but expected to get much worse if we don’t address climate change soon,.. very soon.

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Image Credits: seeveeaar via flickr/CC license; Paul Kedrosky; Scolnik via Climate Progress

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