Heatwave during the peak summer months has been a major cause of concern for the people of Andhra Pradesh where maximum temperatures touch 48 degrees Celsius and more in summer. Owing to various factors including climate change, a vast area of the State that faces the Bay of Bengal in the east with one of the longest coastlines has been registering rising temperatures and heatwave conditions over the past six decades. It has witnessed the highest number of average heatwave days in the past decade (2011-2021) in the country after Rajasthan.
The heatwave trends were revealed recently by the Minister of State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Dr. Jitendra Singh in response to a question in the ongoing winter session of the Rajya Sabha.
During the past decade, Andhra Pradesh witnessed heatwave conditions for 106 days during peak summer. It is the only State in south and the second one in the country to witness more than 100 heatwave days in a decade, as per IMD. Rajasthan and Odisha experienced heatwave conditions for 119 and 103 days during the same period.
Also, A.P. is the only State in the country to experience more than 10 average heatwave days in each of six summers in the past decade. Neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Telangana experienced 56 and 69 average heatwave days during the past decade. Between 2014 and 2017, the State witnessed 2,776 sunstroke deaths.
Decreasing trend in Kakinada
Meanwhile, out of the eight weather stations spread in Ralayaseema and Coastal Andhra six registered significantly increasing or increasing heatwave trends while only Kakinada registered a decreasing heatwave trend during April, May and June between 1961 and 2021.
The heatwave trend in Nellore, a coastal town, was increasing significantly while in Kalingapatnam (Srikakulam) and Kakinada a decreasing heatwave trend was noticed. In other stations including Anantapur, Kadapa, Kurnool, Machilipatnam, and Visakhapatnam a rising heatwave trend was registered. Across the country, of the 103 stations monitored there was decreasing heatwave trend only in about 20 locations.
A report by the World Bank on ‘Climate Investment Opportunities India’s Cooling Sector’ recently stated that India is going to experience maximum temperatures over the human survivability limit.
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