We speak with a leading Indian climate scientist about the punishing heat wave that produced the hottest weather ever recorded in April for India and Pakistan. Temperatures have climbed above 110 degrees Fahrenheit, causing power outages, school closures, crop damage and health warnings. Scientists link the early onset of the region’s intense summer to the climate crisis and say more than 1 billion people may be impacted by more frequent and longer heat waves. “We are expected to and already seeing longer and more intense heat waves that are more frequent across the Indian subcontinent because of anthropogenic climate change,” says Chandni Singh, senior researcher on climate change adaptation at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements and a lead author of the Asia chapter of the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “Historical emitters of greenhouse gases have to step up because we are, in countries like India and Pakistan, really hitting the limits of adapting to heat.”
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman.
We begin today’s show in India, where temperatures have soared to the highest levels since recording began more than 120 years ago. Residents of India’s capital, New Delhi, faced 100 degree temperatures in the capital Delhi Thursday and Friday.
ASHWINI DWIVEDI: [translated] The summer that arrived in May and June last year has arrived now in April and the 1st of May. It is extremely hot.
AMRITPAL SINGH: [translated] The situation is very bad. It is extremely hot, and power cuts are troubling us a lot. There is no electricity for the entire day. The power cuts are more so. To get relief from the heat, we have to come here.