Predicted increases in heat related mortality under climate change in urban India

Under a worst case scenario in the long run, urban areas of Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Mumbai and Kolkata are projected to experience the highest absolute increases in the heat related mortality by 2080s, says a study by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A). Titled 'Predicted Increases in Heat related Mortality under Climate Change in Urban India', the working paper considers air temperature projections for two representative concentration pathways (RCP) of 4.5 and 8.5 for its projections, wherein the latter represents are worst case scenario. Jointly authored by Hem H. Dholakia, Vimal Mishra, and Amit Garg of IIM-A, the paper also states that increases in the heat related mortality will overshadow declines in the cold related mortality (winter season). From a policy perspective, the five urban areas that will experience the highest increases in the future heat related mortality after accounting for population increase are Delhi (15200 deaths), Ahmedabad (17600 deaths), Bangalore (14900 deaths), Kolkata (19400 deaths) and Mumbai (15300 deaths). Of these, Ahmedabad is the only urban area that has recently instituted a heat-health warning system (AMC 2013) thereby underscoring the need to institute planned adaptation measures for other urban areas, the paper states. For its research, the paper considered air temperature projections for the two (4.5 and 8.5) representative concentration pathways (RCP). The paper provides a comprehensive assessment of mortality in 52 urban areas with a population of more than one million that are located in diverse climactic regimes in India.

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