We speak with a leading Indian climate scientist about the punishing heat wave that produced the hottest weather ever recorded in April for India and Pakistan. Temperatures have climbed above 110 degrees Fahrenheit, causing power outages, school closures, crop damage and health warnings. Scientists link the early onset of the region’s intense summer to the climate crisis and say more than 1 billion people may be impacted by more frequent and longer heat waves. “We are expected to and already seeing longer and more intense heat waves that are more frequent across the Indian subcontinent because of anthropogenic climate change,” says Chandni Singh, senior researcher on climate change adaptation at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements and a lead author of the Asia chapter of the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “Historical emitters of greenhouse gases have to step up because we are, in countries like India and Pakistan, really hitting the limits of adapting to heat.”
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