Climate Change : Draught and Heat Waves

  • Researchers from Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have found that frequency of heatwaves accompanied by drought has increased in magnitude and in area over past three decades in India.
  • The increases in cocktail of drought and heatwaves were seen particularly in Maharashtra and Southern Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Central India.
  • Heatwaves (a prolonged period when temperatures approach record extremes) and droughts are destructive even when occurring in separate events, but their concurrence is far more serious.
  • Both phenomena have a serious bearing on water resources, affecting agriculture and human settlements.
  • The conclusion was based on analysis of rainfall and temperature data of 50 years.
  • The increase may be due to intricate relationship of land surface processes, soil moisture, evapo-transpiration and local climate.
  • The area affected by extreme of extreme incident has gone from almost nothing in 1951, to nearly 4% by 2010.
  • Nearly 18% of country’s area on average has been facing at least three days of temperatures above 85th percentile.

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