Articles | Volume 18, issue 1
Research article
24 Jan 2018
Research article |  | 24 Jan 2018

Extreme heat in India and anthropogenic climate change

Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, Sjoukje Philip, Sarah Kew, Michiel van Weele, Peter Uhe, Friederike Otto, Roop Singh, Indrani Pai, Heidi Cullen, and Krishna AchutaRao

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Cited articles

Ambika, A. K., Wardlow, B., and Mishra, V.: Remotely sensed high resolution irrigated area mapping in India for 2000 to 2015, Sci. Data, 3, 160118,, 2016.
Azhar, G. S., Mavalankar, D., Nori-Sarma, A., Rajiva, A., Dutta, P., Jaiswal, A., Sheffield, P., Knowlton, K., and Hess, J. J.: Heat-Related Mortality in India: Excess All-Cause Mortality Associated with the 2010 Ahmedabad Heat Wave, PLOS ONE, 9, 1–8,, 2014.
Babu, S. S., Manoj, M. R., Moorthy, K. K., Gogoi, M. M., Nair, V. S., Kompalli, S. K., Satheesh, S. K., Niranjan, K., Ramagopal, K., Bhuyan, P. K., and Singh, D.: Trends in aerosol optical depth over Indian region: Potential causes and impact indicators, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 118, 11794–11806,, 2013.
Basagaña, X., Sartini, C., Barrera-Gómez, J., Dadvand, P., Cunillera, J., Ostro, B., Sunyer, J., and Medina-Ramón, M.: Heat Waves and Cause-specific Mortality at all Ages, Epidemiology, 22, 765–772,, 2011.
Bellouin, N., Quaas, J., Morcrette, J.-J., and Boucher, O.: Estimates of aerosol radiative forcing from the MACC re-analysis, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 2045–2062,, 2013.
Short summary
On 19 May 2016 a temperature of 51.0 °C in Phalodi (northwest India) set a new Indian record. In 2015 a very lethal heat wave had occurred in the southeast. We find that in India the trend in extreme temperatures due to greenhouse gases is largely cancelled by increasing air pollution and irrigation. The health impacts of heat waves do increase due to higher humidity and air pollution. This implies that we expect heat waves to become much hotter as soon as air pollution is brought under control.
Final-revised paper