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Climate change: Indians suffer scorching heat

June 24, 2024

India's capital, Delhi, has been sweltering under temperatures that have soared close to 50 degrees Celsius. What does it feel like to live in such heat? And how is climate change driving up temperatures?


Temperatures in India have reached record highs in recent months. Hospitals are treating more and more cases of heatstroke and heat exhaustion. Around 90% of people in India work in the informal sector, and their livelihoods depend on them being outdoors in the sun. The extreme temperatures are affecting the health of millions of workers — including in the construction industry.

That's predicted to take a toll on India's economic productivity: with a massive loss of working hours. There is a growing consensus among scientists that extreme heat needs to be classified as a major disaster, to trigger emergency funding for necessary measures.

Human-driven climate change is making heat waves longer and hotter all over the globe. Energy from the sun is emitted by the Earth into the atmosphere as heat radiation. Greenhouse gases like CO2 and methane reflect some of it back, resulting in global warming. Causes include the burning of fossil fuels and methane emissions from livestock.