This October has seen a marked rise in the maximum temperature as it has registered eight days so far when the maximum temperature exceeded 37 degrees. The temperature is likely to exceed 37 degree Celsius next week in Maharashtra, according to the Indian Meteorological Department.
This is not a one-year phenomenon as the temperatures in October are likely to remain high for the next two to three years as well, the weather office has indicated. Ajay Kumar, director at IMD in Mumbai, said that the rise in temperature is due to a gaseous explosion on the surface of the sun (solar flare) last year.
This, according to Kumar, will result in persistent temperature rise this season over the next couple of years. In the last six years, this October has seen the highest number of days with maximum temperature exceeding 37 degrees.
While there were eight such days this month, last year it was only three. In the four Octobers prior to 2014, not a single day had temperatures in excess of 37 degrees.
However, the winter in the western parts of the country will be normal, according to Kumar. The rising temperatures, along with the second consecutive year of drought, has environmentalists pointing out that it falls in the larger domain of climate change.
“The weather is getting weirder every year and while there are individual reasons for change in weather, it is also linked to a larger climate change. The IMD needs to do an in-depth evaluation of the issue,” said environmentalist and political activist Sunita Narain of the Centre for Science and Environment.
Temperatures are rising globally and ahead of the United Nations Climate talks in December, every member country is submitting a pledge to cut emission levels to prevent the effects of climate change.
The rising temperatures are taking a toll on people and there has been a rise in viral diseases. “We are seeing a surge in respiratory infections and urinary tract infections due to the sudden rise in temperature,” said Doctor Shahid Barmare, a consultant physician in Mumbai.