Bengaluru hotter by 3°C compared to 2014-23

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) tracked the heatwave conditions of the six metro cities in India for their study, and analysed that the nature of this changing trend impacting metro cities
Image used for representational purposes only
Image used for representational purposes only

BENGALURU: The recent heat wave conditions experienced in Karnataka is being experienced by most Indian cities, and the condition is only worsening because of the increasing heat island effect, noted Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in its report released on Monday.

The CSE tracked the heatwave conditions of the six metro cities in India - Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad, for their study, and analysed that the nature of this changing trend impacting India cities goes far deeper and longer.

The analysis also showed that the heat stress was not just about rising temperatures. It is a combination of air temperature, land surface temperature and relative humidity that lead to acute thermal discomfort and heat stress in the cities.

In its report, CSE noted that increasing relative humidity had worsened the heat index (which is a combination of air temperature and relative humidity) and heat stress in daily lives. It also noted that cities were no longer cooler at night, and highlighted that all these cities had registered a significant rise in their built up areas and concretisation, which contributed to the urban heat island effect.

There was an urgent need for a heat management action plan to expand green areas and water bodies, reduce thermal load on buildings and improve thermal comfort and implement emergency measures during heat wave episodes to protect public health, noted the report.

Bengaluru had registered a 0.5°Celsius increase in decadal average of the ambient air temperature in summers, while relative humidity remained stable over the last two decades. March - April 2024 was significantly hotter (by about 3°Celsius).

The report also noted that humidity added 0.6°Celsius of heat stress on average, and the Heat Index of the city increased by 2%. The pre-monsoon period was thermally more unconformable than monsoon, as the average heat index had increased by 3°Celsius. Avikal Somvanshi, senior programme manager, Urban Lab, said, hotter nights are as dangerous as mid-day peak temperatures, as people get little chance to recover from the day-time heat.

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