MAY 16, 2022
By Paul Homewood
The BBC says heatwaves are getting more intense in India:
An intense heatwave is sweeping through northern India with temperatures hitting a record 49.2C (120.5F) in parts of the capital, Delhi.
Summers have always been gruelling in many parts of India – especially in the northern and central regions. Even before air-conditioners and water coolers started selling in the millions, people had devised their own ways of coping with the heat – from keeping water cool in earthen jugs to rubbing raw mangoes on their bodies to ward off heat strokes.
But many experts say India is now recording more intense, frequent heatwaves.
Roxy Mathew Koll, a climate scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, agrees that several atmospheric factors have led to the current heatwave. But adding to all that, he says, is global warming.
“That’s the root cause for the increase in heatwaves,” he says, adding that more research is needed to link climate change to other, less extreme weather fluctuations.
Except that the facts don’t support this, in Delhi at least:
There is only complete data since 1973, but even this shows there has only been one day since 2000 when temperatures reached 46C in New Delhi, in stark contrast to the 1940s and 1990s.
These temperatures are recorded at a site called Safdarjun on the edge of the city, near the airport, well away from the built up area.
The record of 47.2C was set there on 28th May 1944. (Wikipedia gives a record for New Delhi of 48.4C, set at the airport on 26th May 1998; on that day, Safjardun recorded 46.2C, which I guess says a lot about UHI at the airport.
The BBC is talking about temperatures hitting a record 49.2C (120.5F) in parts of Delhi. We await to see what Safdarjun recorded, but I strongly suspect that these “parts of Delhi” are highly affected by UHI, and therefore meaningless.
By the way, we should ignore any claim that May is early to see such heatwaves. It is actually May and early June when temperatures peak in Delhi. Once the monsoon arrives in June, temperatures decline.
Whether there is a new record set this week or not, it is clear that this is not part of any trend.
According to Weather Underground, the temperatures at Safdarjun peaked this week at 114F, 45.6C
In other words, it did not even hit the 46C threshold:
Shame on the BBC for publishing this disinformation.