By: Climate Action Programme
Climate change has caused a deadly heat wave in India that has killed 2,500 people, according to the country’s earth sciences minister.
The heat wave is being cited as the fifth worst in history and the government said on Tuesday that the country is heading for its first drought in six years.
Harsh Vardhan said: “Let us not fool ourselves that there is no connection between the unusual number of deaths from the ongoing heat wave and the certainty of another failed monsoon. It’s not just an unusually hot summer, it is climate change” according to Reuters.
The arrival of monsoon rains has been delayed by about five days, and Vardhan said there was no clear indication of when the rain would arrive.
Temperatures have soared past 45°C and if the death toll reaches 2,541, it will be the 4th deadliest heat wave ever recorded, and the deadliest in India’s history.
India, the third biggest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, is under growing international pressure to limit carbon emissions with a key U.N. summit in December expected to result in a global climate agreement to cut emissions.
May is generally the hottest month in India, but even by local standards May 2015 was unusual. For nearly two weeks, many areas faced temperatures that were 5.5 degrees Celsius (10 degrees Fahrenheit) above normal