Editor’s Note: Shekhar Chandra is a Ph.D. Candidate in Public Policy, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Intense heat waves have killed more than 100 people in India this summer and are predicted to worsen in coming years, creating a possible humanitarian crisis as large parts of the country potentially become too hot to be inhabitable.
Heat waves in India usually take place between March and July and abate once the monsoon rains arrive. But in recent years these hot spells have become more intense, more frequent and longer.
India is among the countries expected to be worst affected by the impacts of climate crisis, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) say that even if the world succeeds in cutting carbon emissions, limiting the predicted rise in average global temperatures, parts of India will become so hot they will test the limits of human survivability.
“The future of heat waves is looking worse even with significant mitigation of climate change, and much worse without mitigation,” said Elfatih Eltahir, a professor of hydrology and climate at MIT.