A review of heat and health research in India: knowledge gaps in building climate change adaptation responses
It is a foregone conclusion that India will face more frequent, prolonged, and intense heat waves in the immediate future. The health hazards of extreme heat can be significant, especially among vulnerable populations. Adaptation actions to reduce health harms become necessary along with the continued focus on mitigation. The adaptive responses will greatly benefit if backed by ground-level knowledge about the needs as well as effective solutions. The present review seeks to identify gaps in India specific research on heat-health impacts and adaptation. It adopts a conceptual framework that considers two thematic domains important for the overall heat-health agenda - A) Research on the burden of heat-related illnesses/ heat mortality and its determinants, and B) Adaptation research, assessed for its potential to create flexible, locally responsive, and community-centric responses. The review provides important insights for prioritizing actions and setting the context for future research.