India was witness to one of the harshest summer this year when several parts of the country saw a record rise in temperature.
Added to the humidity level, high temperature due to heat wave crippled daily life, and probably for the first time in railways’ history, four passengers collapsed onboard Kerala Express near Gwalior in May.
Temperature in several places in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Telangana remained over 50 degrees or hovered near about.
1. While environmentalists blamed it on climate change, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology feared that at the current pace, the heat and humidity could become unbearable by 2100 making human existence impossible in parts of the country.
2. News portal Insider, quoting the study, said 70 per cent of India’s population of over one billion people will be exposed to extreme heat and humidity by 2100.
3. The study projected that some parts of the country will exceed the survivability threshold. The region, which would be worst affected, are the Chota Nagpur plateau, northeastern India and the eastern coast of India in South Asia.
4. According to the MIT study, heat waves characterised solely by maximum temperatures were projected to significantly increase in both frequency and intensity, the maximum severity of which will be felt in northwest India.
5. The Indian subcontinent is likely to experience more frequent and intensified heat waves and associated physical stress during the extended period covering the pre-monsoon to monsoon seasons.
6. The study said the fertile valleys of the Indus and the Ganges, where the human population is currently in the hundreds of millions, is likely to experience some of the most-severe projected hazard from heat waves.
7. The insider also presented a list of 10 cities which could struggle to support human lives by 2100. New Delhi figured in the list along with Chicago, Miami, Dubai and Beijing. Along with the rising temperature in Delhi (which recorded a high of 48 degree Celsius in June this year) smog-filled air can cause skin rashes, nausea, and headaches, while some people can pass out from heatstroke.