Heating up: Very high temperatures in the west coast was the work of easterly winds, which have weakened the sea breeze over Mumbai and Konkan, say scientists. Photo: Economic Times

‘Climate extremities’: India battles early heat waves in March

Barely out of winter most of the country is already reeling under extreme heat in March. Parts of the Himalayan states of Himachal and Uttrakhand recorded temperatures 7 to 8 degrees above normal, reported HT. 

On Tuesday temperatures reached 39-41°C in parts of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha, and Telangana. Scientists said that while clear skies were adding to solar radiation and warming in those regions, the very high temperatures in the west coast was the work of easterly winds, which have weakened the sea breeze over Mumbai and Konkan. 

Experts said IMD’s recent heatwave warning highlights the impact of climate extremities in recent years, which aligns with the projection of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. The report quoted experts stating that the Climate Vulnerability Index suggests Indian districts have undergone a 45% change in their landscape attributes (tree cover, forest coves, wetlands, mangroves, among others), thereby triggering these heat extremities. 

Cyclone Asani to be year’s first storm likely to form over Bay of Bengal 

A low pressure area is building up in the Bay of Bengal, which will turn into a full-fledged cyclone Asani on March 23, according to the IMD forecast it. Gale winds up to 90 kmph strong are likely to hit the Bay of Bengal and Bangladesh and Myanmar coasts. Experts tweeted that as per the forecast, Asani will become the first ever tropical cyclone to hit Andaman and Nicobar Islands in March. Not a single tropical cyclone has hit the region in March in at least 132 years.

An IMD official told HT that for now, it does not seem like it will affect the Indian coast. The IMD  models indicate Asani may cross Bangladesh or the adjoining north Myanmar coasts. But it is also too early to determine the trajectory. All conditions are favourable for formation and intensification of the cyclone.

Carbon emissions reached highest levels globally last year: IEA analysis

Global carbon emissions reached their highest levels in history in 2021 as the world relied heavily on fossil fuels to economically recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a new analysis by the International Energy Agency (IEA), CO2 emissions linked to energy rose by 6% in 2021. 

The main reason for the rise was coal, largely driven by China, according to the analysis. Coal use increased because of the spike in gas prices in the EU and US, along with a rise in extreme weather, according to the report published in The Independent.

Caribbean coral reefs warming for a century, finds study
Coral reefs in the Caribbean have been warming for at least a century, a new study found. The research, published in the journal Plos Climate, put together a database of 5,326 unique reefs across the Caribbean for the period between 1871 and 2020. The study stated that regional warming began in 1915 and rose significantly in the latter half of the 19th century. After a lull until the mid-20th century, warming began again in the early 1980s in some regions and 1990s for others, according to the study. The reefs warmed by 0.18°C per decade on average during this period.

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