NEW DELHI: Tempe­ratures during India’s monsoon season have risen this century and the country could see more frequent heatwaves in future, the government said on Wednesday, but it added heat-related deaths have fallen in recent years.

India suffered its hottest March in more than a century this year and temperatures were unusually high in April and May too, mainly blamed on climate change. The government says heatwaves are common mainly between April and June.

“The average temperature during the monsoon season is found to be rising in the last two decades,” India’s science and technology and earth sciences minister, Jitendra Singh, told parliament.

“The warming of the tropical Indian Ocean and more frequent El Nino events in future may lead to more frequent and long-lasting heatwaves over India.” El Nino is characterised by a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific. It causes heavy rains and floods in South America and scorching weather in Asia and even east Africa. Singh said India’s mean temperature during the June-September monsoon season rose to nearly 28.4 degrees Celsius last year.

Published in Dawn, August 4th, 2022

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