EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Heat Events in the Indian Subcontinent under a warming climate scenario: Detection and its Drivers 

Ritika Kapoor1,2, Carmen Alvarez-Castro3, Enrico Scoccimarro1, Stefano Materia1, and Silvio Gualdi1,4
Ritika Kapoor et al.
  • 1Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC), Bologna, Italy
  • 2Ca Foscari University, Venice, Italy
  • 3University Pablo de Olavide (UPO), Seville, Spain
  • 4Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV), Bologna, Italy

Rising global temperatures are a potential cause for increase of extreme climate events, such as heat waves, both in severity and frequency. Under an increasing extreme event scenario, the world population of mid- and low-latitude countries is more vulnerable to heat related mortality and morbidity.

In India, the events occurred in recent years have made this vulnerability clear, since the numbers of heat-related deaths are on a rise, and heat waves can impact various sectors including health, agriculture, ecosystems and the national economy.

Preliminary results show the prevalence of heat events in seven different regions of India during the pre-monsoon (March, April, May) and transitional (May, June, July) months. We consider daily maximum temperatures (Tmax) and the NOAA’s Heat Index (HI), a combination of temperature and relative humidity that gives an insight into the discomfort because of increment in humidity.

We look into various drivers behind the heat events in the seven different clusters, in particular ENSO and the North Atlantic Regimes that have been linked to the generation of heat waves in different parts of India. The preliminary results indicate Nino 3.4 SST anomalies show positive correlation with Tmax anomalies only in the western coast during pre-monsoon season, while in the transitional months positive correlation extends to central and east India. The Tmax composite anomalies for the cold, warm and neutral phases of ENSO show positive anomalies for only warm years and negative anomalies for the cool and neutral years. Heat Index shows similar spatial patterns for correlation analysis and composite anomaly analysis. The Mean Sea Level Pressure (MSLP) composite associated with heat waves (days exceeding 95th percentile=>3 days) show a persistent ridge over the North Atlantic region.


How to cite: Kapoor, R., Alvarez-Castro, C., Scoccimarro, E., Materia, S., and Gualdi, S.: Heat Events in the Indian Subcontinent under a warming climate scenario: Detection and its Drivers , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12972,, 2021.

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