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South Asia's intense heat wave a ‘sign of things to come,’ study finds

THE devastating heatwave that has baked India and Pakistan in recent months with temperatures above 45°C was made more likely by climate change and is a glimpse of the region’s future, international scientists said in a study released this week.

The World Weather Attribution group analysed historical weather data that suggested early, long heatwaves that impact a massive geographical area are rare, once-a-century events.

But the current level of global warming, caused by human-caused climate change, has made those heatwaves 20 times more likely.

If global heating increases to two degrees Celsius more than pre-industrial levels, then heatwaves like this could occur twice in a century and up to once every five years, said Arpita Mondal, a climate scientist at the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai, who was part of the study.

“This is a sign of things to come,” Mr Mondal said.

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