Temperatures on the Rise: Adapting to Heat Extremes in South Asia
Between March and May of this year, large parts of India and Pakistan were hit by a severe heat wave that claimed at least 90 lives and seriously impacted people’s livelihoods and the environment. What made this heat wave so different and possibly worse than previous ones? Who was particularly at risk? And where does India stand in terms of adaptation strategies? In this episode, Hanna Geschewski talks with climate change researchers Dr. Chandi Singh and Dr. Emmanuel Raju about the recent heat wave and how to deal with increasingly frequent temperature extremes.
Dr. Chandni Singh is a Senior Researcher at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements in Bangalore, India. She is also a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC where she covered topics of vulnerability and adaptation in Asia in the Assessment Report 6 published in March 2022. She works on examining what drives differential vulnerability to climate change and how and why certain people adapt while others don’t or can’t. Dr. Singh wrote about the 2022 heat wave in her New York Times guest essay, “Spring Never Came to India This Year.”
Dr. Emmanuel Raju is an Associate Professor at the Global Health Section at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. He is also currently the Director of the Copenhagen Center for Disaster Research (COPE), which provides a platform for interdisciplinary research on disaster and climate change. Dr. Raju recently co-authored a study titled “Climate Change made devastating early heat in India and Pakistan 30 times more likely,” which highlighted the most severe impacts of the recent heat wave and how it can be attributed to climate change.
Hanna Geschewski is a PhD researcher in Human Geography at the Chr. Michelsen Institute and the University of Bergen in Norway, focusing on socio-ecological adaptation processes in Tibetan refugee settlements in Karnataka, India.