India heatwave: High temperatures killing more Indians now, Lancet study finds

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    According to a recent study that was just published in the medical journal The Lancet, heat-related mortality increased by 55% in India between 2000–2004 and 2017–2021, according to a recent study.

    The analysis found that in 2021, Indians lost 167.2 billion potential working hours due to heat exposure.

    This, it continues, led to income losses that were around 5.4% of the GDP of the nation.

    In recent years, India has experienced heatwaves of increasing intensity.

    While heatwaves have been common in many areas of the country over the summer, scientists have noted that they are now growing longer, more intense, and more frequent.

    The heatwave that gripped Pakistan and India between March and April was 30 times more likely to have occurred as a result of climate change, according to the annual Lancet Countdown report released on Tuesday.

    Record-breaking heatwaves in Pakistan and northwest India have become 100 times more likely due to climate change, according to research conducted earlier this year by the UK’s Met Office.

    Such high temperatures would only happen once every 312 years, it said, absent climate change.

    The Lancet analysis also noted that over the previous two decades, heat-related mortality had climbed by two thirds globally.

    The study also predicted that in India, particulate matter exposure—tiny particles that can clog lungs—was responsible for more than 3,30,000 deaths in 2021.

    According to the report, average household concentrations of particulate matter in the country were 27 times higher than the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended due to the reliance on burning fuels including oil, natural gas, and biomass.

    It was made public prior to the COP27 climate conference, which will take place in Egypt in November.

    In response to the report’s conclusions, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres declared that “the climate problem is killing us.”

    Through toxic air pollution, declining food security, increased risks of infectious disease outbreaks, record-breaking heat, drought, and flooding, among other things, it is compromising not only the health of our planet but also the health of people everywhere, he claimed.