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Current Affairs

Climate change and heatwave

Date: 18 May 2022 Tags: Climate Change


India is witnessing a record heatwave, with temperatures reaching 50 degree Celsius in many parts of the country.



  • March was recorded as the hottest in 122 years from 1901-2022, with Northwest and Central India being the hottest.  

  • Studies have shown that April and May are warming faster than core summer months of May and June in India.

  • The heatwave has indicated the global warming’s cascading effect on the temperature.

  • Climate change has resulted in disruption in cooling western disturbance, anticyclones becoming more dominant, and Arctic heatwaves increasing.


Effects on western disturbances

  • Western disturbances are storms that originate in the Caspian or Mediterranean Sea, that bring non-monsoonal rainfall to northwest India and parts of Central India.

  • These storms and associated rains suppress heat wave conditions in the Indo-Gangetic plains.

  • The frequency of western disturbances has intensified in recent years but they have not translated to the precipitation associated with them.


Anti-cyclonic conditions

  • Anticyclones are large-scale circulation of winds around a central region of high atmospheric pressure.

  • They disperse winds in all directions as it rotates clockwise. They occur normally over north-west India but get exaggerated due to the heatwave conditions.


Arctic heatwaves

  • Arctic heatwave pushes air upwards, leading to formation of a low-pressure area in sub-polar region.

  • This pulls weather systems, including western disturbances, northwards, making them move in higher latitudes.