Over 500 dead across India as heat wave sets in, Telangana’s Khammam sizzles at 48 degrees

Published On: May 24, 2015

Hindustan Times: Humans “boil in their own skin” at 48 […]

Hindustan Times: Humans “boil in their own skin” at 48 degrees Celsius, the maximum temperature recorded at Khammam in Telangana which has become the focal point of a blistering heat wave sweeping through swathes of India on Sunday, killing nearly 500 people.

Allahabad was the second hottest at 47.7°C, six degrees above normal; Nandigama in Andhra Pradesh was a notch under as it sizzled at 47°C while Odisha’s Angul district tipped the scales at 46.7°C.

Medical experts said long exposure to extreme heat raises human body temperature to such levels that protein cells start to “boil like egg whites”, a case of internal combustion that eventually shuts down the brain.

Hospitals have been flooded with cases of heatstroke in Gurgaon and Delhi. “Prolonged sun exposure dehydrates the body and its ability to control heat. So, we advise people to be extra cautious in the summer months,” said Satish Koul, general physician at Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurgaon.

Tummy upsets, headache, fever, rashes and skin allergies from sunburn are other less severe symptoms. “Drink plenty of water, avoid the sun and never go out on an empty stomach,” reads the general advisory.

The study Extreme Weather Events over India in the last 100 years (2005), found:

Reports indicate that 1998 [El Nino year] was noted for severe heat wave and larger number of deaths at different parts of the world. A recent study by Pai, Thapliyal & Kokate (2004) revealed that during the decade 1991-2000 a significant increase in the frequency, persistency and spatial coverage of heat wave / severe heat wave has been observed in comparison to that during the earlier decades 1971-80 and 1981-90.

These changes might be the regional impact of the observed general increase in the global warming during the recent decade (1991- 2000), which is the warmest decade during the past 140 years (WMO 2001). The deaths due to heat wave in Orissa in 1998 has been widely reported as one of the rare extreme epochs over the country resulting in deaths of nearly 1300, of which 650 were from Oriss

Alwar in Rajasthan (East) holds the record for the highest maximum temperature of 50.60 C (123.0 F) on 10 May 1956.

In recent years heat wave induced casualties have some what increased.

Telangana breaks six decade heat record with temperature of 48 degrees

Experts have long warned about heat waves fueled by global warming, i.e. recent study for heat waves in America http://www.cbsnews.com/news/more-heat-waves-in-store-for-more-americans/

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A 2015 study published in the science journal Nature, reported:Already today 75% of the moderate hot extremes and about 18% of the moderate daily precipitation extremes over land are attributable to the observed temperature increase since pre-industrial times, which in turn primarily results from human influence. For 2 °C of warming the fraction of precipitation extremes attributable to human influence rises to about 40%. Likewise, today about 75% of the moderate daily hot extremes over land are attributable to warming. It is the most rare and extreme events for which the largest fraction is anthropogenic, and that contribution increases nonlinearly with further warming. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/28/science/new-study-links-weather-extremes-to-global-warming.html http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2617.html

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Video credits
Music Chris Zabriskie – Cylinder Nine http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Chris_Zabriskie/

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