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.
Thus, the WSJ (Wall Street Journal) article by author Vibhuti Agarwal, cherry picks the mention of the highest recorded temperature, but leaves out that heat waves become more frequent, significantly increase in number, are more persistent, and result in more deaths. The WSJ probably tries to give the impression that high temperatures are something normal (since they occurred in the past, and were even higher), hence indirectly suggests people should not worry to much.
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