India and Pakistan are experiencing a record-shattering heatwave with temperatures exceeding 45℃ in many areas, leading to critical electricity and water shortages. In addition, the heatwave demonstrates the need for heat action plans.
A real-time attribution study was conducted during the heatwave that affected large parts of North India and Pakistan in April-May 2022. The analysis was produced with a system developed in Hadley Centre for the attribution of extremes in near-real time.
The climate emergency has made heat waves in northwest Pakistan and India 100 times more likely. Researchers, scientists, and ordinary Pakistanis struggle to cope with their third heat wave this year, and little has been done to mitigate the impacts.
Extraordinary record-high temperatures in Pakistan triggered the collapse of the Hassanabad Bridge along the Karakoram Highway in the Hunza Valley. The ongoing unprecedented heat wave melted ice on Shisper Glacier, creating a lake which flooded.
As the planet continues to warm, extreme heat will become more commonplace. This is particularly dire for India and Pakistan, as steps to improve air quality will actually increase temperatures during heatwaves.
With summer still months away, an unusually intense heatwave is threatening millions of people on the Indian subcontinent. What can people do to weather the worst and prepare for a future of extreme heat?
Extreme heat is gripping India and Pakistan, impacting hundreds of millions of people. National meteorological and hydrological departments are working closely with health and disaster managers to roll out heat health action plans.