52.9 degrees in Delhi, 66 degrees in Iran; Heatwave continues to break records across the globe

With the temperature of 52 degrees Celsius, Delhi joined the global club of places who have been experienced unbearably hot, record breaking temperatures.

Trending, Heatwave, Climate Change, Global Warming, Heatwave Delhi, Delhi Heatwave, Delhi Temperature, Record breaking temperatures, Heat 2024, Heatwave 2024, Punjab, Heatwave Iran- True Scoop

Delhi, on Thursday, recorded the highest temperature ever recorded in the history of India. It broke a previous record held by Rajasthan since 2002. With the temperature of 52 degrees Celsius, Delhi joined the global club of places who have been experienced record-breaking temperatures.

The United Kingdom saw temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius for the first time in July 2022. China's highest temperature ever was 52 degrees Celsius, which was recorded in a small town in northwest China last year. Sicily, Italy, experienced 48.8 degrees Celsius in 2021—the highest temperature ever recorded in Europe. 

Most alarmingly however, last year, the heat index in Iran caused the temperatures to soar to an unprecedented 66 degrees Celsius. This is quite literally an unbearably hot temperature, as temperatures this high cannot be handled by the human body. The “unprecedented heat” in Iran had prompted the government to declare a public holiday. Elderly were advised to be stay indoors as going out would have resulted in either hospitalised or death.

What is the heat index?

The heat index, often referred to as the ‘feels-like’ temperature, combines air temperature and relative humidity to estimate the human-perceived temperature. High humidity levels hinder the body's ability to cool itself through sweating, making the heat feel much more intense. A heat index of 66 degrees Celsius is life-threatening, exceeding the thresholds the human body can endure for extended periods.

Is climate change to blame?

It was predicted that 2024 will be an abnormally warm year. Global warming broke records last year, and this year is predicted to follow suit—and it hasn't failed. Rising temperatures are one of the main effects of climate change, which has become a major worldwide concern. The primary cause of the extraordinary changes in Earth's climate is human activity, particularly the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

The deforestation, industrial operations, burning of fossil fuels, and agricultural practices have all contributed to the build-up of greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide. The Earth's average temperature has been steadily rising over the past century due to the greenhouse effect caused by this accumulation of heat trapped in the atmosphere.

Climate change disrupts traditional weather patterns, leading to more frequent and intense heatwaves, prolonged droughts, and other extreme weather events. As temperatures rise, phenomena such as melting ice caps and increased evaporation further exacerbate warming, creating a loop that intensifies climate impacts.

An analysis by Carbon Brief, a UK-based publication focused on climate change, indicated that nearly 40 per cent of the Earth recorded its highest-ever daily temperatures between 2013 and 2023, including places in Antarctica.

India still below average global temperatures

April 2024 marked the 11th consecutive month where the global average monthly temperature reached a new record.

A report by Carbon Brief a UK-based organisation focused on climate change, suggests that between the years 2013 and 2023, the Earth's temperature has increased by 40 percent especially towards Antarctica. The heat in India is still below the global average temperature. April 2024 was the 11th consecutive hottest month. All months from May 2023 to April 2024 were consistently 1.61 degrees Celsius warmer than the pre-industrial period (1850-1900).

However, the warming over India is less pronounced than the global average. Annual mean temperatures in India have risen by about 0.7 degrees Celsius since 1900, significantly lower than the 1.59 degrees Celsius increase in global land temperatures. Including oceans, global temperatures are currently at least 1.1 degrees Celsius higher than pre-industrial averages.