The burning heat in the air is one of the unpleasant events you will encounter as a foreign traveler on your first visit to this country. It can get unbearably hot at times, especially during the summer. The months of May and June are considered the hottest, though the warm ambiance of summer now seems to last until late October.
Increasing Heat Of Indian Weather
The unfortunate thing is that the heat becomes more intense with each passing year. It’s no surprise that most foreign visitors (mostly from Western countries) avoid visiting India during the summer. I don’t blame them for being spoiled by their pleasant climate. Because we Indians are also fed up with the oppressive summer heat, which shows no signs of easing.
This got me thinking: What is it about India that makes it so freaking hot? Even though India is not directly on the list of the world’s hottest countries, there is something else that contributes to the country’s ever-increasingly hot climate.
In this post, we will look at the actual causes of Indian weather’s scorching heat and the future of its climate pattern. But, before we go any further, let me state unequivocally that I am not an expert. So, please consider this post to be my personal notes that I compiled while conducting internet research.
Is India A Hot Country?
With a few exceptions in the northern states, India can be classified as a “hot country” in general. However, Indian climate conditions vary by region. The northwest regions of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Assam, Sikkim, and other northeastern states are significantly cooler than other states.
But don’t be fooled into thinking that the weather in those remaining states stays hot all year. No! this is a common myth that many people believe. Most of India is in the tropical zone, its climate is governed by six distinct seasons, with only the summer season becoming excessively hot – not always, but occasionally.
People can now feel the increased heat in recent years as a result of the global temperature rise. Although it has never reached the point where we can simply list India as one of the hottest countries in the world.
According to a recent report published by the MoES (Union Ministry of Earth Sciences) – India’s average surface temperature has risen by 0.7 °C between 1910 and 2018. Pollution and rapid urbanisation are making the climate hotter than usual. Sometimes the temperature goes quite high, above 45°C at the peak of summertime.
Another misconception I hear a lot is that the southern part of India (or, south India) is the hottest. Which is, once again, incorrect. I think people having darker skin in those regions are responsible for such beliefs.
For instance, Saudi Arabia and other Middle-Eastern countries also fall under a hot climate range, yet their skin tones are much lighter. Therefore, the idea that dark people invariably live in hot weather is not always true. Keeping that aside, the southern part of India has a dynamic coastal climate since it is surrounded by two of the world’s largest oceans all around. The Bay of Bengal to the east and the famous Indian Ocean to the south.
In other words, in these regions, you would experience a warmer summer and a very pleasant winter. To your surprise, winter often requires a blanket at night. Anyhow, the hotness you feel is because of the high humidity of those regions, with the exception of Hyderabad, as the amount of humidity here is much lower than in other neighboring states. So if we conclude, the Indian climate as a whole is not unified. Generalizing its weather as hot wouldn’t be right.
Is India The Hottest Country In The World?
India is nowhere near the top of the list of the hottest countries in the world. This is simply a misconception and is often asked by new travellers before coming here. The news headlines you read online or see on TV about deaths caused by extreme heat in the summertime force you to ponder such thoughts.
For example, 2020 is set to be the hottest year ever recorded in the last hundred years. However, nowhere in India has the heat reached critical levels, posing a threat to human survival. While the news is true, India has yet to be included in the list of the hottest countries, at least for the time being.
In fact, the hottest country in the world is Burkina Faso, which is located in West Africa and has an average yearly temperature of 29°C.
What Makes India So Freaking Hot?
There are numerous logical explanations for the increasing heat in Indian weather. However, I’d like to focus on the most fundamental causes that scientists frequently discuss.
Global Warming: We all know that global warming is causing a steady rise in weather temperatures, not only in India but also in other countries.
High Humidity: High humidity is also playing a part in the puzzle of India’s extreme summer hotness. In 2015, the most common cause of heatstroke in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana was a combination of high heat and high humidity.
Many scientists have issued warnings about the deadly combination of heat and humidity, which has emerged as a major source of concern in many Southeast Asian countries, including the southern part of India.
Rapid Urbanization: India is rapidly urbanising, with cities now housing 34% of the total population, a 14% increase since 1950. This is a level of urbanisation unprecedented in human history. This clearly has an impact on India’s weather patterns.
Rapid deforestation has reduced the country’s forest cover, which has been a major concern for several decades. The impact of this rapid deforestation can be seen directly in the recent monsoon pattern changes. There are numerous reasons for India’s rapid expansion of deforestation. Among them are the need for agricultural land, commercial logging, mining, population growth, and so on.
Industrial Revolution – As India’s trying to compete with China for being a giant global hub for the manufacturing sector, forest land acquisition & the pollution caused by large-scale industrial construction have increased in the last several years.
Would Heat Become Unbearable In The Future?
To begin answering the question, we must first understand the term “wet-bulb temperature”. It’s a scale that measures the amount of heat and humidity in the air, and if the temperature rises to a certain point, our bodies can no longer cool themselves.A six-hour labor-intensive job in direct sunlight can result in serious injury or death. Simply put, an increase in wet-bulb temperature makes areas habitable for humans.
Heat waves have become more common in many parts of India, including major crop-producing states like West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, as the global average temperature has risen slightly over the last century. Scientists are now warning that even a 1.5 °C rise in global temperature could have a significant impact on southern India, making heat-related deaths a common occurrence.
However, don’t get too worked up about it because it’s only a prediction. We still have time, and the good news is that many governments around the world are becoming aware of the potential for future devastation. They are working hard to implement more environmentally friendly policies.