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Heatwaves in India and Pakistan are lasting longer than previously seen

BMJ 2022; 377 doi: (Published 05 May 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;377:o1143
  1. Kamala Thiagarajan
  1. Tamil Nadu

India and Pakistan have been in the grip of a series of intense and prolonged heatwaves since March, with temperatures reaching 43-46°C in north and central India on 28 April, the Indian Meteorology Department has reported.

Nawabshah in Pakistan recorded a temperature of 47.5°C on 27 April, and temperatures rose to 49°C at Jacobabad on 30 April, the highest temperature recorded this year in the northern hemisphere.

The frequency of heatwaves has been growing since 2016, said Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, director general of the Indian Meteorology Department. “We’ve been monitoring fluctuating temperatures and predicting heatwaves on a daily, monthly, and seasonal basis, but it is premature to link the heatwave solely to global warming,” he told The BMJ. “It is the result of various meteorological parameters.”

This year in particular, a decrease in rainfall that is usually brought about by the western disturbance—a storm from the Mediterranean that brings significant rainfall to northwestern parts of the Indian …

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