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IMD Study: India experiences 30% increase in moist heat stress over 40 years, impacting vast areas of the country, reports ET HealthWorld.

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India faces alarming 30% rise in moist heat stress over 40 years, affecting wide swath of country: IMD Study, ET HealthWorld

A recent analysis by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has revealed a concerning increase in ‘heat stress’ in India due to high temperatures and humidity. The term ‘moist heat stress’ has seen a 30% rise in magnitude over the past 40 years, with a significant spatial expansion of areas experiencing heat stress in the country.

The study identified two primary patterns – dry heat stress and moist heat stress – that trigger heat waves across India. Dry heat stress occurs when temperatures rise with low humidity, while moist heat stress results from high temperatures combined with excessive humidity, hindering the body’s ability to regulate its temperature through evaporative cooling.

Senior IMD scientist Dr. Rajib Chattopadhyay highlighted that the heat index values have increased by 4-5°C above typical summer temperatures in various regions, particularly in central India, northwest India, and the east coast. The analysis showed that the most impacted regions include the west coast, parts of Maharashtra, southern peninsular India, northwest India, including Rajasthan and Gujarat.

IMD researchers also noted that the entire Indian region is currently under the impact of combined dry and moist heat stress, with the east coast, Telangana, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, parts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, and northwest India experiencing the most significant effects.

This increase in heat stress conditions poses a significant health risk to residents, as it can lead to dehydration, heat exhaustion, and other heat-related illnesses. The IMD’s findings call for urgent measures to address the escalating heat stress levels in India and protect the population from the adverse effects of rising temperatures and humidity.

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