Deadly Heat Waves to become more Common in Southern Asia

A new study suggests that deadly heat waves will become more common in South Asia in the coming years, even if global temperature rise is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Scientists have said that this could create unsafe labour conditions across Asia, especially for construction and mining labour as well as farmers, which may cause lots of labour deaths across the continent.

Scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the USA said that an increase of more than a degree would create unsafe conditions in most crop-producing parts of India, namely Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Bihar and West Bengal.

“Even at 1.5 degrees, South Asia will have serious consequences in terms of heat stress. That’s why there is a need to radically alter the current trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions,” said moetasim Ashfaq, one of the co-scientists in the study.

The scientists also stated that 32 degrees Celsius was the point at where labour becomes unsafe, and at 35 degrees, could lead to death due to extreme amounts of heat stress.

Using climate simulations and projections of human population increase, scientists tried to estimate the number of people who will experience prolonged heat stress in Asia if the temperature rises by 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius.

Image Credit: By Judgefloro – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=95353847

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