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61.9 crore people in India experienced extreme heat caused by climate change: Report

The impact was also felt by 579 million people in China, 231 million people in Indonesia, 206 million people in Nigeria, 176 million people in Brazil, 171 million people in Bangladesh, 165 million people in the United States, 152 million people in Europe (excluding Russia), 123 million people in Mexico, 121 million people in Ethiopia and 103 million people in Egypt.
Last Updated : 28 June 2024, 04:49 IST

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Mumbai: More than 60 per cent of the world population faced extreme heat that was made at least three times more likely by climate change in mid-June, according to rapid attribution analysis by scientists at Climate Central.

The last few weeks have seen extreme temperatures soaring around the world. Every heatwave in the world is now made stronger and more likely to happen by climate change, caused by burning oil, gas and coal, and deforestation.

Scientists at Climate Central analysed the role of climate change on global temperatures over the period of June 16 to June 24 and estimated the number of people being affected by them.

They found that 4.97 billion people experienced extreme heat made at least three times more likely by climate change over the period, according to a press statement.

This includes 619 million people in India.

Andrew Pershing, VP for Science at Climate Central, said: "More than a century of burning coal, oil, and natural gas has given us an increasingly dangerous world. The heatwaves popping up around the world this summer are unnatural disasters that will become more and more common until carbon pollution stops."

The impact was also felt by 579 million people in China, 231 million people in Indonesia, 206 million people in Nigeria, 176 million people in Brazil, 171 million people in Bangladesh, 165 million people in the United States, 152 million people in Europe (excluding Russia), 123 million people in Mexico, 121 million people in Ethiopia and 103 million people in Egypt.

In India, one of the country’s worst-ever and long-running heatwaves, which finally relented in mid-June, left more than 40,000 people with heatstroke, with over 100 dead. Temperatures approached 50 degree C, with a night-time low of 37 degree C, reportedly the highest ever recorded in India.

China is also enduring extreme heat, with temperatures of 50 degree C, reportedly the highest ever recorded in June, and nighttime temperatures in the mid 30s. The city of Wuhan has warned it may start rationing electricity to cope with the extra demand from air conditioners.

In Saudi Arabia, at least 1,300 people have died from heat-related illnesses during the Hajj pilgrimage. Temperatures were extremely high, with some cities passing 50 degree C. Climate Central’s analysis found that the city of Mecca has been experiencing temperatures made at least three times more likely due to climate change every day since May 18, and five times more likely since May 24. A previous analysis by climate scientists at Climameter found that climate change, caused by burning oil, gas and coal, made the heatwave in Saudi Arabia up to 2.5 degrees C hotter.

Extreme heat is one of the best-documented effects of climate change, which is caused by the burning of fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal, and deforestation.

Due to human-caused warming, extreme heat waves that occurred once every 50 years now occur nearly five times more often (or once every 10.4 years) and are 1.5 degree C degrees warmer, according to the IPCC, the UN’s panel of top climate scientists.

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Published 28 June 2024, 04:49 IST

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