Heatwaves Rising During Monsoon For Past 2 Decades, But Related Deaths Fall: Govt

During the monsoon season, the average temperature in India has been increasing over the past two decades leading to various weather events across the country, the Earth Sciences Minister Jitendra Singh informed Lok Sabha earlier in the day. The minister also pointed out that the farming activities were delayed due to the change in the rainfall pattern this year.

“It is a fact that the annual temperature is increasing globally and the impact of the same is reflected in the increase in severe weather occurrence in various parts of the globe, including India,” Singh said in a written reply during the Parliament session in lower house, news agency PTI reported.

The All India mean temperature was recorded at 27.9 degrees Celsius in 2001 and had settled at 28.4 degrees Celsius in 2021, Singh said adding that the All India Mean Temperature had recorded a high of 28.6 degrees Celsius in 2019.

While responding to separate question in Lok Sabha, Singh also cited a recent climate assessment report of the Ministry of Earth Sciences which revealed that the tropical Indian Ocean was warming rapidly over the recent decades.

“The average basin-wide sea surface temperature (SST) is warming at a rate of 0.15 degrees Celsius per decade during 1951-2015. During the same period, globally averaged SST warmed at a rate of approximately 0.11 degrees Celsius,” Singh said.

“Owing to this rapid warming, the sea level in the Indian Ocean was observed to be rising at a rate of 1.06-1.75 mm per year during the last century (1874-2004) and approximately 3.3 mm per year in the recent decades (1993-2015), which is in a similar range of the mean sea level rise,” PTI quoted Singh as saying. 

The government also noted that temperatures in India have surged during the monsoon season and the country might see more frequent heatwaves in the day to come. However, it said that deaths due to heatwaves came down significantly in the recent past. India has recorded its hottest March in more than a century.

Last month, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) analysis based on India Meteorological Department (IMD)’s long-term data revealed that June to September monsoon season has been 0.3-0.4 degrees Celsius hotter than pre-monsoon seasons in the decade from 2012 to 2022.