Temperature projections and heatwave attribution scenarios over India: A narrative review

Ravindra Khaiwal, Sanjeev Bhardwaj, Chhotu Ram, Akshi Goyal, Vikas Singh, Chandra Venkataraman, Subhash C. Bhan, Ranjeet S. Sokhi, Suman Mor

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The average global temperature is rising due to anthropogenic emissions. Hence, a systematic approach was used to examine the projected impacts of rising global temperatures on heatwaves in India and provide insights into mitigation and adaptation strategies. With over 24,000 deaths attributed to heatwaves from 1992 to 2015, there is an urgent need to understand India's vulnerabilities and prepare adaptive strategies under various emission scenarios.This situation is predicted to worsen as heatwaves become more frequent, intense, and long-lasting. Severe heatwaves can exacerbate chronic health conditions, vector-borne diseases, air pollution, droughts and other socio-economic pressures causing higher mortality and morbidity. Heatwaves with severe consequences have increased and are expected to become more frequent in Indian climatic and geographical conditions. As per the future projection studies, the temperature could rise ±1.2° C to ±3.5° C and will start reducing by the end of 2050. The study also provides data from the research that employs climatic models and statistical approaches for a more precise characterization of heat extremes and improved projections. Also, the study appraises the past, present and future heatwave trend projections. Most of these studies compute future projections using the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) models and Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP). Limited systematic reports have been found using CMIP6, whereas the best-suited and widely used method was the RCP8.5. The study findings will aid in identifying the zones most susceptible to heatwave risk and provide actionable projections for policymakers to examine the existing evidence for developing proper planning and policy formulation, considering the future climate and temperature projections.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere26431
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Issue number4
Early online date18 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 29 Feb 2024


  • Climate change
  • Heatwaves
  • Mortality and morbidity
  • Projections
  • Temperature


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