Quantcast
Climate

India Records Highest Temperature Ever: 123.8 Degrees Fahrenheit

India recorded its hottest day on the books on Thursday amid a scorching heatwave and "staggering" number of farmer suicides.

Sizzling at 51 degrees Celsius (123.8 degrees F), the temperature in the city of Phalodi in the western state of Rajasthan topped the nation's previous record of 50.6 Celsius set in 1956.

CNN reports:

The IMD [India Meteorological Department] has issued a red-level alert for Rajasthan as well as for other states like Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, where temperatures, despite not having crossed the 50-degree mark, are higher than average.

India has recorded higher than normal temperatures throughout 2016.

Many areas are experiencing severe heat waves and state governments estimate more than 370 people killed so far.

And relief isn't coming soon.

"Severe heatwave conditions will prevail in north, west India and central India for the next 10 days," the IMD warns.

According to Laxman Singh Rathore, director general of the IMD, look to climate change for the cause in the increasing temperatures. "It has been observed that since 2001, places in northern India, especially in Rajasthan, are witnessing a rising temperature trend every year. The main reason is the excessive use of energy and emission of carbon dioxide. Factors like urbanization and industrialization too have added to the global warming phenomenon," he stated.

Weeks of high temperatures have "also led to acute water shortage in many areas of central and western India which has seen water riots, government-monitored rationing and armed guards at reservoirs," the Hindustan Times reports.

There is a prolonged drought as well, withering crops and sprouting hopelessness in farmers.

"Constant failure of crops. Very low produce. He couldn't recover the investments, could not pay back the bank loans. That's why he killed himself," said the brother of 41-year-old cotton and sugarcane farmer Srikrishna Pandit Agee who hanged himself this month.

His was among the roughly 400 farmer suicides that have already occurred since the beginning of the year.

Dnyaneshwar Jadhav says his brother Tukaram, a small cotton farmer in the state of Maharashtra, took his own life over the distress of loans and failed crop yields. "When I look into the well, I feel like dying. Life is such a struggle," Dnyaneshwar said to NPR. "We used to earn over $300 for our cotton, we now get less than $100 because the yield is so small."

Last year offers a grim picture of what could be in store.

In 2015, after a heatwave claimed the lives of some 2,500 people and was followed by low monsoon rains, India's earth sciences minister said, "Let us not fool ourselves that there is no connection between the unusual number of deaths from the ongoing heat wave and the certainty of another failed monsoon."

"It's not just an unusually hot summer, it is climate change," he said at the time.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

How Carbon Farming Can Reverse Climate Change

Earth Sees Record Warming for 12 Straight Months

10 Reasons You Should Have Hope for the Future

Al Gore’s Groundbreaking Film … 10 Years Later

Show Comments ()
Sponsored
Freight Farms

Why This Montana Farmer Grows Food Year-Round in Shipping Containers

By Isabelle Morrison

Kim Curren, owner of Shaggy Bear Farm in Bozeman, Montana, has worn many hats. She worked in the solar power industry for 15 years, owned her own café bookstore and worked a stint as a medical case manager. In 2016, Curren decided to try her hand at farming, because why not?

Keep reading... Show less
Food
Sam Murphy

Got Nondairy Alternative Milk?

By Sam Schipani

More and more, ecologically minded milk consumers are turning to nondairy products to minimize their carbon hoofprints. Sales of almond milk shot up by 250 percent between 2011 and 2016. Meanwhile, consumption of dairy milk has plummeted 37 percent since the 1970s, according to the USDA.

Keep reading... Show less
Food
A burger made with a blend of beef and mushrooms. Mushroom Council

'Blended Burger' Allows a Simple Shift to More Sustainable Eating

By Richard Waite, Daniel Vennard and Gerard Pozzi

Burgers are possibly the most ubiquitous meal on Americans' dinner plates, but they're also among the most resource-intensive: Beef accounts for nearly half of the land use and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the food Americans eat.

Although there's growing interest in plant-based burgers and other alternatives, for the millions of people who still want to order beef, there's a better burger out there: a beef-mushroom blend that maintains, or even enhances, that meaty flavor with significantly less environmental impact.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Old White Truck / Flickr

The Last Straw? EU Official Hints Ban on Single-Use Plastic Across Europe

A top EU official hinted that legislation to cut plastic waste in Europe is coming soon.

Frans Timmermans, the first vice president of the European Commission, made the comment after Britain's environment minister Michael Gove, a pro-Brexiter, suggested that staying in the EU would make it harder for the UK to create environmental laws such as banning plastic drinking straws.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Energy
Flare from gas well. Ken Doerr / Flickr

Court Orders Trump Administration to Enforce Obama-Era Methane Rule

A federal judge reinstated a widely supported methane waste rule that President Trump's administration has repeatedly tried to stop.

Judge William Orrick of the U.S. District Court for Northern California ruled Thursday that Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) decision to suspend core provisions of the 2016 Methane and Waste Prevention Rule was "untethered to evidence."

Keep reading... Show less
Energy
On Jan. 24, 2017 President Donald Trump signed a memorandum to expedite the Keystone XL permitting process. Twitter | Donald Trump

Inside the Trump Admin's Fight to Keep the Keystone XL Approval Process Secret

By Steve Horn

At a Feb. 21 hearing, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that the Trump administration must either fork over documents showing how the U.S. Department of State reversed an earlier decision and ultimately came to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, or else provide a substantial legal reason for continuing to withhold them. The federal government has an order to deliver the goods, one way or the other, by March 21.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Health

New Black Lung Epidemic Emerging in Coal Country

In a study released this month by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), federal researchers identified more than 400 cases of complicated black lung in three clinics in southwestern Virginia between 2013 and 2017—the largest cluster ever reported.

However, the actual number of cases is likely much, much higher as the government analysis relied on self-reporting. An ongoing investigation from NPR has counted nearly 2,000 cases diagnosed since 2010 across Appalachia.

Keep reading... Show less
Energy
Dennis Schroeder / NREL

The Facts About Trump’s Solar Tariffs – Who Gets Hurt? Who Gets Helped?

By John Rogers

The solar-related shoe we've been expecting has finally dropped: President Trump recently announced new taxes on imported solar cells and modules. There's plenty of downside to his decision, in terms of solar progress, momentum and jobs. But will it revive U.S. manufacturing?

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!