India-Pakistan heat wave

Folks on twitter are reporting a life-threatening heat wave in Pakistan. The mainline news is discussing the heat wave in India and the effect it will have on wheat harvests:…
PARIS — A record-breaking heat wave in India exposing hundreds of millions to dangerous temperatures is damaging the country’s wheat harvest, which experts say could hit countries seeking to make up imports of the food staple from conflict-riven Ukraine.
“Temperatures just shot up,” he [Harish Damodaran, senior fellow at the Delhi-based Centre for Policy Research] said. “It was like an electric shock, and so we are talking of yields more or less everywhere coming down 15 to 20 percent.”


A record-breaking heat wave in India exposing hundreds of millions to dangerous temperatures is damaging the country’s wheat harvest…

Wheat price unlikely to rise as Govt to continue exports on back of bumper crop…
A government official told CNBC-TV18 that India is well positioned on wheat availability and the stock in April is estimated at 190 lakh metric tonne (LMT) versus a stocking requirement of 75 LMT.

Further, India’s current buffer grain stock stands at 513 LMT and this is double the requirement of 210 LMT for April.


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I’ve just finished reading the cli-fi (climate science fiction) book The Ministry for the Future, widely acclaimed, which starts out with an appalling scene set in the part of India being hit by this heatwave. In the book, in the near future, that region is hit with a brutal heatwave in the season just before the monsoon usually hits, when humidity is high. Combination of extreme temperatures with high humidity is deadly even for healthy young adults, as noted in the story in the OP:

The U.N. projected near-term increased temperature and humidity across the Indian subcontinent due to climate change. This means hundreds of millions could face higher so-called wet-bulb temperatures, where air cannot be cooled by water evaporating and perspiration alone is unable to cool a human body.

A wet-bulb temperature of 95 F is unsurvivable for more than six hours, even for healthy adults resting in the shade.

The wet-bulb temperature is a meteorological term referring to the temperature that a thermometer reads when the bulb is wrapped with a wet cloth and slung around in a circle in the air vigorously so that the air moving rapidly across the wet cloth causes maximum evaporation possible, dropping the temperature reading. At higher humidity for a given temperature, the wet bulb temperature is higher as the evaporation rate slows.

In the book, the region is hit by a heat wave with high humidity producing wet bulb temperatures over 95F for days on end, killing tens of millions of people as the over-taxed electric grid fails. It’s told from the point of view of a young American who was there volunteering, one of the very rare survivors. Truly appalling description of the catastrophe.

So that starts the book, and in the book it marks a turning point in how the world approaches climate change. Well worth reading for an interesting take on what might happen and how the world could change in coming decades.