Heatwaves are a growing reason for concern, particularly in light of recent reports from all parts of the country documenting rising temperatures and the associated increase in health risks. The rise in temperature may not only be producing health concerns, but there is a possibility that this is not the only effect it is having. A recent study suggests that in addition to the harmful effects that heatwaves have on public health, they may also have an adverse effect on India’s economy and agriculture.
A group of researchers from the University of Cambridge, lead by researcher Ramit Debnath, has published a paper about the effects that heatwaves have on the state of the economy in India. According to the findings of the study, India is currently dealing with the aftermath of a collision between several cumulative climatic risks. These hazards lead to extreme weather-related events virtually every day from January to October in the year 2022. In addition, eighty percent of India’s total population of 1.4 billion people will be put in risk as a direct result of rising temperatures.
The findings in the study show that Indian lawmakers may be underestimating the impact of the heatwaves, despite the fact that the government has issued a variety of advisories that advise actions that residents can take to assist battle health-related impacts. According to the findings of the study, India’s development may be slowed down by a number of factors in addition to heat-related ailments. These factors include the closure of schools and the loss of crop. According to the authors of the paper, “This study shows that heatwaves make more Indian states vulnerable to climate change than was previously estimated using the climate-vulnerability index (CVI).” Since heatwaves in India and the Indian subcontinent have grown increasingly frequent and persistent, it is high time for climate experts and policymakers to re-evaluate the metrics for gauging the country’s susceptibility to the effects of climate change. This is an opportunity for building a holistic vulnerability measure through the cooperation and engagement of international organisations.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) also recently published a paper that predicted that most regions of India will see an increase in the length of heatwaves by 12–18 days by the year 2060.