The spate of alarming news related to climate change continues. The mean temperature in Mumbai and Pune will be 5°Celsius more than now and the maximum the mercury will hit will be 4.2°C higher is the last quarter of this century, said a study.
In some extreme years in the 2080-2099 period, the maximum temperature can go up to 45.4°C, revealed the latest analysis done by Greenpeace India in which heat wave projections have been assessed based on distinctive scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change AR6 report. According to it, inland cities are at a significantly higher risk of heat waves in the absence of regulation by oceans and a higher temperature range than coastal areas.
The projections for Mumbai and Pune are based on emissions of carbon dioxide doubling by 2050. “Coastal cities like Mumbai benefit from the regulating effect of the sea. However, the humidity from the sea will create muggy weather conditions. ” The study highlighted that Pune has a relatively different pattern despite being inland due to its topography. The coastal cities have an average temperature range less than 5 degrees, in comparison with the inland cities with a temperature range of 20 degrees, it added.
The hottest days for India have increased from 40 per year in the 1950s to 100 per year in the 2020s. “The heat waves are fatal for public health and the economy. It also puts ecosystems at risk. We have enough science to link such extreme weather events to climate change. Unfortunately, if we do not act now, the threat is only going to increase in frequency, duration and magnitude,” said Avinash Chanchal, campaign manager at Greenpeace India.
The study showed Delhi’s maximum temperature will be 4°C higher than average in the 2080-2099 period. Temperature rise is also expected to severely impact Lucknow, Patna, Jaipur and Kolkata.
The analysis highlighted that the vulnerable communities will face the crisis at its worst form. “The urban poor, outdoor workers, women, children, senior citizens, sexual minorities are at a significantly greater risk, as they lack adequate access to protective measures. Governments must fortify the resilience of such vulnerable populations,” it added.
The focus has to be on reducing emissions and maintaining adequate green cover. “Rooftop gardening, community nutritional gardens, parks, mini forests, roadside tree cover and water bodies are the need of the hour. Phasing out fossil fuels, particularly for energy and transportation systems, is the most practical and immediate solution to tackling climate change and protecting public health,” added Chanchal.