Tactical adaptation to Indian heat waves

by Judith Curry

Ahmedabad’s Heat Action Plan offers a proven track record and model to protect their residents from heat waves.  My Georgia Tech/CFAN colleagues Violeta Toma, Peter Webster and Mark Jelinek are enabling this Plan with a pioneering heat wave forecast product to help the Ahmedabad Municipal Council determine when to implement a heat alert.

With a death toll now exceeding 2000, the current heat wave in India is the 5th deadliest  heat wave in the world and 2nd deadliest in India [link]. The greatest loss of life in the current heat wave is among outdoor workers. The deadliest heatwave on record in India was in 1998, killing 2541 people.

The current heatwave began on May 21, with temperatures in many regions exceeding 45C, and reaching 47.6C and beyond [link].  Delhi has endured seven consecutive days over 44C, the worst extreme heat event recorded in a decade. The heat wave was caused in large part by sparse pre-monsoon season rain showers, leaving large parts of India arid and dry. Cooling monsoon rains are expected within a few days, which will bring the heat wave to an end.

Of course, the heat wave is being blamed on human caused climate change [linklink]:

The combination of rapidly expanding population, and increasing extreme heat events reducing food yields suggests a perfect storm is brewing. We can only hope that negotiators at the UN climate talks in Bonn next week step up to the mark to ensure concerted and effective climate action.

https://theconversation.com/is-indias-heatwave-a-freak-event-a-statistician-investigates-42636

Regardless of what caused this heat wave event, I don’t think that international negotiations and reducing CO2 emissions is going to help address the problem of India’s heat waves, at least in the near term.  But tactical adaption, following the model developed for Ahmedabad, can make a huge difference with minimal cost.

Tactical adaptation

The idea of tactical adaptation to weather extremes is to make use of probabilistic medium range weather forecasts as part of a strategy for planning and implementing mitigatory actions beginning about a week in advance of the predicted event.

Ahmedabad is a city of 7 million people in the northwestern state of Gujarat. Ahmedabad’s Heat Action Plan is introduced in this recent article [link]:

“Ahmedabad’s Heat Action Plan – South Asia’s first early warning system against extreme heatwaves – is tailored to help protect the city’s vulnerable communities during these disasters.”

After a heatwave hit Ahmedabad, a western city of 5.5 million people, in May 2010, killing over 1,300 people, local authorities mapped areas with “high-risk” populations including slums, as part of an action plan.

They also built up public awareness of the risks of high temperatures and set up “cooling spaces” in temples, public buildings and malls in the sizzling summer months.

In Ahmedabad, authorities have focused on public awareness as the first step in preventing heat-related deaths. This includes telling people how to protect themselves via campaigns on television, radio and newspapers, as well as through messaging platforms such as WhatsApp.

The government also alerts residents to forecasts of very high temperatures through hospitals, community groups, media outlets and government agencies. Health workers have also been trained to recognize the symptoms of heat stress and ensure emergency rooms and ambulances are stocked with ice packs.

A recent blog post from the NRDC describes the Heat Action Plan and the partnership between  the Ahmedabad Municipal Council and scientists and policy experts at  the Indian Institute of Public Health, Gandhinagar, Public Health Foundation of India, Natural Resources Defense Council, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology’s CFAN group.  Excerpts:

One thing that is so attractive about the Ahmedabad’s Heat Action Plan is that most of its effective strategies are very straight-forward to implement. There are many actions a city government can take immediately to save lives. [Below] is a summary of what the AMC and other stakeholders are doing right now in the city to warn and protect residents from the ongoing extreme heat.

  • Posted large hoardings (billboards) & banners with heat preparedness messaging across the city, including in vulnerable slum areas and at all government hospitals & Urban Health Centers. Distributed more than 400,000 handouts of heat preparedness messaging .
  • Held meeting with all zones’ Assistant Medical Officers and Junior Entomologists to discuss the HAP 2015, identifying drinking water sources and adding more throughout the city. Installed more than 1,100 drinking water stations around the city in collaboration with NGOs and social organizations.
  • Conducted a survey of all construction sites to see availability of drinking water and shelter for rest in afternoon for laborers working there. All construction sites will be given an order from the Estate Department to provide water and shelter to laborers.
  • Keeping open all gardens zones as cooling spaces, including gardens that are generally closed over the noon hour.
  • Have issued media advisory as in all leading newspapers, electronic and radio media to alert the public when there were temperatures forecast hot enough to quality as “orange days alerts” for upcoming next 3-4 days.
  • Sending WhatsApp texts messages among all AMC department groups to sensitize citizens to avoid outdoors in afternoons until 4:30 pm during extreme heat days.
  • Providing regular instructions to various departments like water department for no water supply cut and electricity department for no power cut during extreme heat days. Labor & Traffic police department received instructions to ensure safety of their workforce.
  • Providing regular follow-up with all medical officers and government hospitals to take stock of their preparedness and management of heat-related cases. Keeping a close track on daily reports of heat-related illness & deaths from all government hospitals and on daily all-cause deaths as well to ensure there is no steep rise in death toll.
  • Conducted sensitization & ToT (Training of Trainers) workshops for various NGOs working for vulnerable communities.

 The Heat Action Plan offers ways to mitigate the health impacts of rising temperatures, including mapping high-risk heat areas, increasing access to drinking water stations & green spaces for shade, reducing urban heat island effects, ensuring new buildings are more heat-resilient, and developing transportation systems that help people avoid heat stress. 

The documents describing the Heat Action Plan can be found [here].  See also a paper published in the Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health [link]. This figure by Jeremy Hess from a presentation made by Peter Webster provides a good summary:

Slide1

Forecasting Ahmedabad’s heat waves

Effective implementation of the Heat Action Plan requires a good forecast out 7 days or more in advance of the event.  Weather forecasts for Ahmedabad are made by the Indian Meteorological Department (5 day, deterministic), weather.com (10 day, deterministic), accuweather.com (45 day, deterministic).  The accuracy of the publicly available forecast products was insufficient at 7+ day lead times to support the Heat Action Plan; further, these forecast products are all deterministic, rather than probabilistic (which is needed at longer forecast horizons.)

In 2013, led by Violeta Toma and Peter Webster,Climate Forecast Applications Network (CFAN) began participating in the formulation of Ahmedabad’s  Heat Action Plan.  CFAN was tasked with providing a 7-day probabilistic forecast of maximum temperatures (based on the ECMWF ensemble forecast system) during the pre-monsoon hot season. During the Ahmadabad hot season, prior to the monsoon rains, maximum daily temperatures are on average around 41°C (106°F), with record values of over 46°C (~115°C), such as during May 2010.

The temperature thresholds were developed in collaboration with the local authorities and the public health officials in Ahmadabad based on research relating mortality and morbidity with maximum temperatures. There are four distinct alert levels:

  • “Safe/White” when the temperatures are below 41C,
  • “Hot/Yellow” when the temperatures are between 41C and 42.9C,
  • “Very Hot/Orange”, when the temperatures are between 43C-44.9C
  • “Extreme Heat/Red” at temperatures of 45C and over.

For each alert level, there is a set of actions to be taken to diminish the effects on the population.

The challenge to producing useful medium-range heat wave forecasts is to overcome the biases seen in the forecasts made by IMD and accuweather.com and weather.com (accuweather.com and weather.com forecasts have a high false alarm rate for Amedabad heat waves).

CFAN’s heat wave forecasts for Ahmedabad takes into account both historical and recent bias of the ensemble forecasts, using the quantile-to-quantile adjustment, the adaptive (Kalman-type) decaying averaging bias correction, and kernel dressing to address the under-dispersion of the ensembles.

For the adjustments/corrections to work properly, the accuracy of the observational data set is important.  There seems to be an inconsistency between the IMD reported maximum temperatures and the temperatures reported by the NOAA/NCDC based on automatic WMO station measurements. At the peak of the hot season,  there have been several instances where the NCDC measurements are higher than the IMD measurements. Based on our conversation with the IMD, the sites are some distance apart and they use different instruments. While theses technicalities can explain the differences between the measurements, its still unclear what is the actual temperature in the city. Moreover, we don’t know what is the effect of urbanization on the inner city temperatures, or if the met station location is representative for the entire city.

The heat wave forecasts are presented via a web-based dashboard.  The forecast example below was initialized on June 1, 2014,  and includes daily forecasts out for 7 days.  A color coded alert level warns for the next day’s forecast.  The daily maximum temperature forecast is provided as an ensemble mean, and also as the probability of exceeding certain thresholds.

Slide2Recent past forecasts are also provided, to show forecast consistency.

Slide2

 

Verification  statistics for April-May- June 2014 are shown below.  The root-mean-square-error is seen to be below 1.2 for all lead times out to 8 days.
Slide4

The ability to forecast the extreme heat waves is illustrated by the Hit Rate (probability of detection) and the False Alarm Ratio.

Slide3Note that based on the IMD observational records, Ahmedabad had only one extremely hot day during the 2014 hot season.   Hence the results for the “Extremely Hot” instances are not statistically robust. Additionally, there appears to be a systematic bias in the IMD records compared to NCDC and METAR data, with IMD reporting smaller values for temperatures in the very hot/ extremely hot bracket. This might lead to CFAN large false alarm rate in the extremely hot bracket.

Overall, the contingency tables show that our threshold-based forecast has performed quite well with very large probability of detection and small false alarm rate.

The current heat warning system in Ahmadabad takes into account the effect of maximum daily temperature and does not account for either atmospheric humidity or minimum daily temperature. However, these last two factors appear to be as critical as the maximum daily temperature.  Thus incorporating atmospheric humidity an minimum daily temperature is something we plan to address in the future.

JC reflections

The Ahmedabad Heat Action Plan is a marvelous example of tactical adaptation to climate.  CFAN (under the leadership of Peter Webster), has been working for over a decade to try to apply CFAN’s cutting edge capabilities in extended range prediction of extreme weather events.  It is not an easy thing to pull off.

The successful ingredients in this case are an enlightened local government, a willingness to accept weather information from a source that is not the IMD, a boundary organization (the NRDC) and a consortium of researchers from both India and the U.S.  The IMD barrier is a nontrivial one, Peter Webster relates this anecdote:

When we told the IMD that we would use probabilistic methods, their comment was “Professor Peter, you must know that probabilities do not work on the subcontinent.”

It is almost easier to work with genuinely undeveloped countries, who do not have their own meteorological agencies struggling for recognition and for their jobs.

This idea of tactical adaption to extreme weather events is one that Peter Webster has been working on for two decades (I coined the term ‘tactical adaptation’ in this context).  The most mature example is Bangladesh flood forecasts [link].  At the heart of tactical adaptation is probabilistic weather forecasts on timescales of a week to months.  Making these forecasts actionable requires a detailed plan of action for mitigatory actions to take at intermediate and then shorter time frames.  The basic principles work for any weather hazard, whether caused by climate change or natural variability.  The advantage of tactical adaptation is its low cost.   Tactical adaptation to extreme weather events is deemed of particular importance to the developing world, where extreme weather events are routinely associated with large loss of life, relentless impoverishment, and destabilization.

Focusing more resources on medium to extended range weather forecasts, along with developing action plans tied to these forecasts, would go a long way towards alleviating problems associated with extreme weather events.  And provide a far better investment in human development and economic benefits in the near term than reducing carbon emissions.

A society that learns to deal with present hazards through tactical adaptation will be more adept at dealing with future hazards that may be more frequent and intense.

154 responses to “Tactical adaptation to Indian heat waves

  1. Thanks for this post. It seems to confirm that heat waves are local events.

  2. Steven Mosher

    Judith and Peter. Have a look at Larry kalksteins work. He has a large number of heat wave warning systems in place around the US and internationally.

    • As far as i can see, Kalkstein has a 2 day warning system. We do 7 days for Ahmedabad and 15 days for 300 U.S. cities

      • Steven Mosher

        It would be interesting to compare the two. Is the only thing you are looking at is temperature? If so you will likely have false positives in areas like Phoenix and fail to catch heat waves in areas that are more humid. Also there is a seasonal dependency since heat waves earlier in the year tend to be more damaging than those later in the year when people have adapted. Finally kalksteins system is actually tied to an objective damage function:historical mortality.

        Obviously both can fill a need.

      • yes, these are heat wave warning systems based on 2 day forecasts, which aren’t particularly unusual

      • Judith, I’m glad your search on the heels of Mosh’s (IMHO, somewhat unhelpful, if not deliberately diversionary) comment led you and your mouse to more current Kalkstein details than mine!

        All I could find was a long outdated (2005) U of Delaware bio [http://www.udel.edu/SynClim/kalk.html] with links to NOAA, EPA, WHO & WMO. None of which – considering their past and current performances, not to mention their alarmist proclivities and pronouncements – were particularly inspiring.

        Nor was Kalkstein’s “return” link to “the Synoptic Climatology Lab website” which resulted in a redirect to a now Error 404 message at some other Uni page!

        While I readily confess (as I have many times in the past) that I am both statistically and graphically challenged, it seems to me that a 7 day or 15 day warning system is probably far more practical, useful and helpful than any 2 day warning system.

        But what do I know, eh?! I’m just a pre-post-normal English & Psych major … who inhabits a relatively quiet little corner of the blogosphere;-)

      • ulriclyons

        I produce solar based forecasts for changes in NAO/AO status within a few days latitude, at any useful range. I’ll tag you Judith in my UK region forecast for 2015 on my facebook profile.
        I am still looking at weather conditions through 2016-2017 in India much like the Agra Famine years of 1837-38:
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/13/like-the-pause-in-surface-temperatures-the-slump-in-solar-activity-continues/#comment-1416780

      • Steven Mosher

        The difference is Judith that kalksteins approach has measurable skill in preventing death.

        Prediction of hot days is different than prediction of heat waves that kill.

        The reason is that heat waves require more than just hot days. And hot for Georgia is different than hot for Las Vegas. And 100 degrees in early season is more deadly than that same 100 degrees later in the season.
        .

    • Kalkstein doesn’t explain why early season heat waves increase mortality rates.The why would seem to be important in the context of this post.

      As for heat index I think ‘enter call sign here’ super weather action report has it covered.

  3. Heat waves are on the decline.

    • May was hot as heck, and the forecast for the first week ofJune is even hotter.

      • What were the #’s for May? For the first 5/12ths of the year?

        You’re starting to get me interested in looking at short term trends. Even if they don’t have much meaning scientifically, it’s fun to watch “skeptics” try to deal with them.

      • Joshua,

        Give me a short term trend. I’ll give you as much fun as you desire.

        I’ll try to deal with it, whatever that means.

        Over to you.

      • May was hot in some places but presumedly not in others, such as the poles. Commenting on data points seems pointless.

      • Not sure of heck’s temperature (is it also subject to climate change?), but it’s been cooler and wetter than “normal” at my location so I assume it must be hotter and drier somewhere to maintain the incessant increase in global average.

    • Appell thinks .83C on GisTEMP. I would guess .79C.

      If Appell is right, the 2015 mean to May 31 would be .786C. OHC is spiking. Sea level rise is spiking. This thing could last until fall.

      • OHC is spiking. Sea level rise is spiking.

        There are people out there that think it is going to cool the next 10 years.

        Both the warmers and the coolers can’t be right.

        I suspect there is going to be mild cooling and that the CO2 rise will drop below 2 PPM/year by 2025, on its way to stopping completely.

        However I am am not betting on temperature until I see how the next few years pan out.

      • Yes, Keenleyside et al., and he is a consensus scientist, predicted global cooling. It never happened:

      • PA, GISTEMP is not your friend. Perhaps this next spike will be the last, eh?
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1950/mean:12/plot/gistemp/from:1970/trend

      • Jim D | June 2, 2015 at 10:56 pm |
        PA, GISTEMP is not your friend. Perhaps this next spike will be the last, eh?

        The approach of measuring sea surface temperature, land air temperature, and guessing at polar temperatures produces a synthetic measure that is neither fish nor fowl.

        The measure has diverged from the lower troposphere temperatures however they are measured.

        Surface temperature measurement means you drive probes in the ground and measure ground temperature the way Argos measures sea temperature. That isn’t what is being done. Climate scientists keep insisting you can make goofy measurements of proxies and reconstruct the result that would have been obtained by measuring it correctly. This delusional fantasy is so ingrained at this point arguing is pointless.

        What congress should do is fund a red team effort with engineers and statisticians to determine why the so called “surface temperature” and lower troposphere temperature trends are different.

        Deniers would claim the “surface temperatures” are biased. Warmers would claim the satellites/radiosondes are wrong. I don’t understand why after 15+ years no one has gotten curious enough to figure why the two measures are so different.

        Until the issues with global temperature are identified and resolved the surface temperature trends can’t be regarded valid. Warmest year ever claims at this point have the accuracy and significance of astrology.

    • ulriclyons

      “Heat waves are on the decline.”

      A sharp increase in negative NAO through the next ten years due to the weaker part of this solar minimum, will warm the AMO again and increase regional drought, and so increase heatwaves.

  4. Wider distribution of low cost energy to the poor and vulnerable, which would make air conditioned cooling stations available (these are opened on hot days here in Baltimore) and eventually home air conditioning is the long range answer to this challenge. The grid must be strengthened and expanded.

    • Yep, well said, Ted.

      Think 1896 USA and Eastern Australia a few months earlier. Think 2003 France. Sydney in 1960 or Melbourne in 2009. North America in 2012 and Eastern Australia a few months later. The whole middle of the globe in 1878. And I could go on, couldn’t I?

      These events come along, and if you can’t aircon an entire city you can still do wonders with an efficient grid which can take strain. And there’s this quaint old thing called meteorology which seems pretty effective in the hands of those who have a real interest in their field – and have even been known to open a window and look out.

      The problem is that we now have to pretend climate is new for theological reasons, while it is in fact old and its worst moods are easily known. Heat and monsoon failures are not new. (Australia and India shared one such horror event in the early 1790s, not for the last time.)

      Some shrewd short term prediction and plenty of water storage and electrical power sound like a good defence. But we need to can the climate mullahs. Those guys will have you installing whirlygigs or shuffling money on the other side of the world to where the problem is happening. Or conferencing somewhere with the aircon on.

    • Well, yeah.

      Cheap dependable power will let people live anywhere pretty comfortably.

      Adapting to climate change means making more dependable power cheaper.

      Does expensive unreliable renewable energy look like the first resort of a sane rational well-informed person who is worried about climate change?

      What is really troubling is there are actually some government officials so misinformed and out-of-touch they think expensive unreliable undispatchable renewable energy is a solution to adapting to climate change.

      • I’d love to know what aspects of, say, 1890s climate or 1930s climate we should be trying to replicate by junking reliable power, constructing white elephants and handing money to rogues.

  5. Judith, fascinating. And important. From the front lines!

  6. Pingback: Tactical adaptation to Indian heat waves | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  7. Professors Curry & Webster

    My recommendation is to focus on a 2 week forecast. You see, the human body takes about 2 weeks to adapt to heat stress, at least the kind you are talking about.

    During the early phases of WW II, the US Army initiated a military campaign in North Africa, masses of men and equipment in the Sahara Desert. There would be heat stress for the combatants. Questions posed to an Army Captain, previously an early academic in Physiology. How to maintain evaporative cooling? How long would it take men from the USA to adapt to the heat stress of fighting in North Africa? How much fluids would it take to maintain a large fighting force? Two weeks to adapt. From three gallons a day to 1 gallon a day.

    Availability of lots of water and shade from the sun are the basic ingredients of heat stress management to deal with the majority of the population. For the infirm, the elderly and very young, cooling shelters with a narrow range of heat exposure as the cardiovascular, endocrine, renal and sweat gland systems do not operate sufficiently to meet the stress of heat.

    You can target the populations at risk as well as design a graduated response. Early intervention for the infirm, before a specific heat index is present. Graduated responses for the general population. This is all very old science, just not likely in a digital format like Pub Med. Maybe why we are re-inventing the wheel; ignorance of past work.

  8. In China they have a law requiring outdoor workers to go home when it hits 40C.

    Of course they have more 39C days than anyone thought possible…

    • “Years ago in the valley the miners always ‘knocked off’ if the thermometer registered 112 degrees in the shade, but times and wages are changed now, and the poor men are willing, to work on days like last Friday 18.1.78; in order to put in a full week.” – from a local southern NSW paper during the 1878 heatwave.

      Before Walker, Henry Blanford, head of the India Meteorological Department during what we’d now call the 1877 El Nino, started getting in touch with other agencies in the British Empire to see if something was going on with atmospheric pressures elsewhere. Something was going on.

    • Peter Lang

      In Australia, workers stop work if it gets too hot and also if it rains. School children go home and get the rest of the day off if the class rooms get too warm.

  9. Adaptation to hot days is very simple – keep cool, and hydrated.

    Unfortunately, as usual, the devil’s in the detail.

    Keeping cool and hydrated costs money. In many cases, those most at risk from the heat are those least able to afford or implement the cure. The old and infirm, the very young, the seriously ill (physically or mentally), the poverty stricken who need to continue working at their manual labour, or starve, along with their families.

    Probabilistic forecasts are all well and good for those who can afford the consequences of a wrong forecast. For example, a labourer may stay away from work if extreme heat is forecast. He and his dependents may go without food the following day as a result. If the forecast is out by a day, you have inadvertently inflicted unnecessary hardship on many people.

    Even worse, your forecast may come true on the following day. The labourer goes to work anyway. He has to eat, and your last forecast was wrong, but he went hungry due to your advice.

    So the labourer dies anyway, but his dependents suffer an additional day’s starvation as a bonus.

    Things can be tough in Third World countries, but even in the U.S., thousands die in heat waves. Forecasting with less than 100% precision leads to the situation where people are conditioned into ignoring forecasts on the basis of past experience.

    Who would take an umbrella with them, based purely on an official forecast of rain? Anybody with even a modicum of sense will look out the window, rather than place their entire trust in forecasts that have been shown to be wrong from time to time.

    Tactical adaptation is a great idea. So is eating an adequate and balanced diet, or maintaining good personal hygiene.

    Forecasts will need to be a lot more accurate before people are prepared to bet a days starvation on them. Maybe more work is needed.

    • Steven Mosher

      Good points.

      Somewhere on this thread you will find me talking about Kalksteins system
      which only gives a two day watch/warning to residents.

      The system is tied to historical mortality data, such that only the heat waves that actually pose a risk are signalled.

      • Yes.
        I work with a heat stress model the military uses.
        The ‘acclimatization’ period in this model is two-weeks.
        The human body changes ( water storage and the like ) and more capable in coping with heat stress ( presuming available hydration ).

        So it’s delta-T that matters, not so much temperature, particularly in areas where people are acclimatized.

        However, the issue of predictability horizon is separate.
        Obviously, the greater in advance one can predict such events,
        the greater amount of time is available for warning and preparation.

      • BTW, it is a testament to acclimatization and human adaptability that the Afar people toil mining salts in the hottest place on earth ( The Danakil Depression ) which is strangely where the ‘Lucy’ Australopithecus was found:

      • But surely that is simplistic. Delta T important but the impacts on the body depend on background T as well. An increase in T by 5C when T=15 impacts the body far less that the same increase if T=40C. I think it matters very much what T is relative to the body core temperature. And, then if you take into account relative humidity, the the impacts are far greater in the warm case above.

      • Evidently, the human body adjusts in many ways.


        Heat acclimation or acclimatization plays a large part in the body’s physical responses and overall ability to cope with heat exposure. Heat acclimation is a broad term that can be loosely defined as a complex series of changes or adaptations that occur in response to heat stress in a controlled environment over the course of 7 to 14 days. These adaptations are beneficial to exercise in the heat and allow the body to better cope with heat stress. Heat acclimatization describes the same process, but happens in a natural environment. In either case, the positive adaptations that occur include reductions in:

        Heart rate
        Body temperature responses
        Skin temperature responses
        Perceived exertion

        As well as increases in:

        Sweat rate
        Sweat onset (sweating starts earlier)
        Heart function/blood distribution
        Overall ability to perform in the heat

        Other changes include decreased salt losses in sweat and urineas well as an improved blood pressure response.All of these changes improves an athletes’ ability to handle heat stress during exercise.

      • > Evidently

        The link under that word:

        http://ksi.uconn.edu/prevention/heat-acclimatization/

        The Indian population, the military, and athletes. Same same.

      • Steven Mosher

        Eddy

        ‘Yes.
        I work with a heat stress model the military uses.
        The ‘acclimatization’ period in this model is two-weeks.
        The human body changes ( water storage and the like ) and more capable in coping with heat stress ( presuming available hydration ).

        So it’s delta-T that matters, not so much temperature, particularly in areas where people are acclimatized.

        However, the issue of predictability horizon is separate.
        Obviously, the greater in advance one can predict such events,
        the greater amount of time is available for warning and preparation.”

        #########################

        I dont want people to think I am being critical of peter’s approach.
        Getting a 14 day warning is important, AND its also important to have a system like Kalsteins that is actually Tied to HISTORICAL MORTALITY for that particular city. Bottom line is what action plans are associated with each.

        As you note there is a period of Acclimatization. The first form of this is Gruesome. Its called harvesting. A heat wave early in the year kills the most vulnerable and so subsequent heat waves are less deadly.

      • The Indian population, the military, and athletes. Same same.

        Yes – they’re called human beings.

      • > Yes – they’re called human beings.

        Then let’s establish the public health policies using athletes and the military as a golden standards.

        That ought to help the elderly, the newborns, the hospitalized.

      • > Yes – they’re called human beings.

        Then let’s establish the public health policies using athletes and the military as a golden standards.

        That ought to help the elderly, the newborns, the hospitalized.

        You play a mean game of ClimateBall there w.

        The same bodily adaptations occur in all.

        Emotionalizing the issue doesn’t change the science.

      • The first form of this is Gruesome. Its called harvesting

        No –
        dying != acclimatizing

        The body adjusts to become more heat tolerant.

        Now, the elderly are more vulnerable to begin with.

        But simple things: increasing fluid intake, reducing activity and reducing exposure all reduce risks and sadly, most of the victims are those not take the simple steps.

      • Steven Mosher

        ” Yes – they’re called human beings.

        Then let’s establish the public health policies using athletes and the military as a golden standards.

        That ought to help the elderly, the newborns, the hospitalized.”

        #################

        the interesting thing was the tendency for more males to die than females. Living alone was also a major factor. One repsonse has been to build cooling centers for the elderly.

      • Right.

        Heatwaves are a problem because they occur more rapidly than the human acclimatization period.

        And humans can take steps to reduce the impacts which is why as large a lead time as possible is valuable.

      • Steve–In India they would do virtually nothing as a result of the data in any case. If the worker didn’t show up because it was too hot, they would not have a job when it cooled

      • > Heatwaves are a problem because they occur more rapidly than the human acclimatization period.

        Right on, and opium makes humans drousy because it has virtus dormitiva.

    • You point out a critical difference between (i) doing a forecast and (ii) implementing the forecast. No mafter how good a forecast is it is useless unless implemented. Here (and please read the Heat Action paper) a whole set of city-wide heat mitigation strategies employed relative to the forecasts especially in the health and hospitals sector. For cities in the developing world where resources are limited (maybe developed world cities as well) it is necessary to have action plans. The title of the paper is “Asia’s First heat action plan….”. The forecasts are now good enough to be extremely useful with errors about 1C. And the forecasts are probabilistic (see my note to Steve Mosher). The problem is developing plans. I think the AMC, NRDC and GT/CFAN has shown that this is possible. Hopefull more will use similar schemes to plan ahead.

      • Steven Mosher

        Dont take my comments as a criticism. I spent some time doing a small project with Larry’s approach and I really liked the synoptic approach. Not sure if that will hold together out past two days. In any case I can well envision a system that has various levels of warnings and even different types of detection/prediction approaches. Larry and scott were really eager to share experience and work, so I learned a lot in a short period. I think their stuff is worth a read, they were very generous with their time explaining stuff to me. FWIW.

        Also, I have some questions about your forecasts. I’m currently using GFS for my tmax max forecasts ( for heat related death of certain mechanical systems) and frankly it is somewhat flakey So, I’d be interested is seeing what you guys are doing.

      • GFS is relatively flaky. We work with GFS also, but ECMWF is substantially superior. We do a lot of ensemble post processing, to eliminate bias and distributional errors.

        Re synoptic approach, we find the models are WAY better on 2 day time scales; synoptic approach (weather regimes; substantially different than Kalkstein’s synoptic approach) adds value at the sub seasonal timescales 2-6 weeks

      • Steven Mosher

        “, but ECMWF is substantially superior.”

        I’m getting that impression. for grins I’ve been pulling the openweathermap 14 day.. ( based on multiple sources including ECMWF) and it is substantially less wrong than GFS.

  10. “tactical adaptation to weather extremes is to make use of probabilistic medium range weather forecasts as part of a strategy for planning and implementing mitigatory actions”

    This work is under-resourced in the current obsession with CO2 mitigation in present day climate research. The focus on global warming should be tempered with a much more regional approach to the implementation of mitigatory actions.

    • yes, under-resourced with a capital U. CFAN gets peanuts to do these forecasts, we have to subsidize these forecasts using profits from our energy clients.

      • “Ahmedabad’s Heat Action Plan offers a proven track record and model to protect their residents from heat waves.”

        It’s an early warning comms plan on tv, radio, newspapers and on billboards about hot spells, identifying cool spots in town and water sources for the citizenry. That’s great as far as it goes. But it’s not ‘protection’. I think that’s overegging the pudding. As mosomoso noted about ‘protection’ is when the power stays on and water supply is sufficient everywhere – a Council that can deliver that is ‘protecting’ people from heat waves.

        “My Georgia Tech/CFAN colleagues Violeta Toma, Peter Webster and Mark Jelinek are enabling this Plan with a pioneering heat wave forecast product to help the Ahmedabad Municipal Council determine when to implement a heat alert.”

        Prof Curry applause from all who want to see lots more practical or applied climate science (i.e climate science as meteorology, 7 or 15 days out) and a lot more climate science product against which climate scientists will stake their professional reputations. Serious question, have your colleagues/University staked their reputations on the accuracy of the forecasting or can the Council only get the forecasts by waiving legal rights to complain about inaccuracy? I am thinking the latter but hoping the former.

  11. John F. Hultquist

    This post makes me think of Shimla.

  12. “Of course, the heat wave is being blamed on human caused climate change”

    I love when they do this. It’s one of the things that got me wondering several years ago about if not the exactly validity of “global warming,” then the honesty of some of the claims. I recall wondering what there was about global warming induced hurricanes that distinguished them from hurricanes in the 50’s, say. It was plain by then that hurricanes were not increasing in either frequency or intensity.

    I eventually decided it was total b..s. If I can figure that out, scientifically illiterate slob that I am, so then can many others.

    • Sub-880 hPa seems to be the exclusive club for intense cyclones. Four have made it as far as I know: one in the 1950s and three in the 1970s, all Pacific cyclones.

      Australia’s landfalling biggie was in 1899, but, for the US, Wilma was as recent as 2005, like 1961 a busy season for destructive Atlantic hurricanes. 1935’s Labor Day Hurricane was a match for Wilma, and got even further north. Some boffins have calculated that 1961’s Carla was the most severe Atlantic blow all up (size + intensity). Of course, Tip in 1979 is the still the world champ. Tip had it all.

      I’m sure there are more cyclones to come, and they’ll be worse than we thought and they’ll be proof of something or other and worse or more frequent because of something I did. The preacher will tell me.

  13. While each event cannot be attributed to climate change, you can say that these events will become more common and more severe with time. What was a 100-year event in the 20th century could be a 10-year event in the 21st, and new records will be broken. Planning has to account for this changing frequency and severity, otherwise it is always a step behind the climate.

    • While each event cannot be attributed to climate change, you can say that these events will become more common and more severe with time.

      Of course you one could say it. But would it be true?

      • If I was any kind of planner and frequency mattered, I would count on an increase. Whether heatwaves or coastal flooding, it would be negligent to do otherwise given what is already happening globally. I would not use the statistics of the 20th century to plan in the 21st as though it is a static climate.

      • If I was any kind of planner and frequency mattered, I would count on an increase.

        I wouldn’t. In fact, I’d call any planner who did that guilty of criminal negligence.

        Strategic plans should be based on preparingfor as many alternative outcomes as can be included, but count[ing]” on none of them.

      • That’s like North Carolina and Florida not being allowed to plan for rising sea level by their (needless to say Republican) state houses, and in some cases not even mention climate change in a public hearing. It would be funny if it wasn’t negligence.

      • JimD, “If I was any kind of planner and frequency mattered, I would count on an increase.”

        But of course. You also have to plan on less as well. Kind of like Australian building de-sal but forgetting flood planning. Murphy’s Law doncha know.

      • Because the odds favor more frequent heatwaves, so should you in planning. I think this part is obvious.

      • That’s like North Carolina and Florida not being allowed to plan for rising sea level by their (needless to say Republican) state houses, and in some cases not even mention climate change in a public hearing.

        No it’s not. It’s like North Carolina and Florida being forced to plan for nothing but rising sea level by a bunch of fanatics.

      • These are the kinds of states that will keep rebuilding coastal infrastructure in the same place as it gets damaged with increasing frequency. It is just mindless incompetence. New Jersey too.

      • JimD, “These are the kinds of states that will keep rebuilding coastal infrastructure in the same place as it gets damaged with increasing frequency. It is just mindless incompetence.”

        yeah, like those silly San Franciscans rebuilding after quakes, Westerners rebuilding after flash floods and droughts, and Californians rebuilding after wild fires. Wait, flash floods, wild fires, earthquakes, droughts and renewable energy standards are a bit pricey too doncha know. Ya get knocked down might as well stay down right JimD?

      • The keywords were “increasing frequency”. If earthquakes occurred somewhere with increasing frequency, you would move. If a once per century disaster became once every ten years, you would move. This change of frequency brings a disaster that affected one in every few generations to one that affects a given generation several times. Frequency is a big deal in decision-making.

      • Because the odds favor more frequent heatwaves, so should you in planning. I think this part is obvious.

        I’m not so sure.

        Heatwaves are the result of dynamics – stagnant but strong polar high pressure areas that allow solar heating for days on end.

        If the atmosphere as a whole has a greater thermal energy, perhaps it happens that the heatwaves incur that much higher temperatures, but the difference from baseline doesn’t necessarily change and no reason to believe the frequency of the dynamics change.

    • “..you can say that these events will become more common and more severe with time.”

      Only if you can say that El Nino will become more common and more severe with time, but that happens most in glacial periods.

    • JimD, “increasing frequency” Yeah right. Ten years ago I sat out four storms and there hasn’t been one since. There should be a Murphy’s Law class on line. I am sure the guys at UK MET are qualified instructors. Didn’t they inspire the UK airports to forget about snow plows and such?

      Now if we can just get Melbourne to build a big a$$ levy we can write off SLR for a few centuries :)

      • For example, this heatwave in India is a once-per-century scale event based on the past (second worst in history), but it could occur again in ten years with the way the climate is changing, and that should be considered rather than assuming it remains once per century. The people affected now could be affected again.

      • Well, India has a population of about 1.254 billion.

        London had UHI of T = 1.8, Tx= 0.9, Tm = 2.8

        So we can reasonably conclude that about 2°C of the India warming is due to UHI.

        The CO2 warming since 1900 is known to be about 0.89 W/m2 (0.24°C).

        So most of their problem is UHI.

        Claiming that India’s heat wave is due to global warming is like driving down the freeway in a convertible and complaining that a 5 MPH breeze is mussing your hair.

      • “Once-a-century” is the new “unprecedented”. Sydney’s recent East Coast Low was described to me as a once-a-century event (by an intelligent local who reads only the Guardian and NYT on his iPhone). Sheesh, how much can you manage NOT to know about your own region?

        Expect an unprecedented rash of once-a-century events. Or maybe a once-a-century rash of unprecedented events. Or…what the hell. Say any bloody thing. Nobody checks.

      • Jim D,

        According to an international database domiciled in Brussels, India had at least four heatwaves serious enough to feature in the list of the top 10 world disasters from 1998 to 2015.

        They may be wrong, but 4 serious heatwaves in less than 20 years, indicates a frequency of 1 in 5 years, rather than 1 in 100 years.

        These 1 in 100 year probabilities are probably rubbish. In any case, if you think you can predict the future by looking at past weather events, you’re wrong. The future is unknowable.

        If you think that rain is likely, by all means carry an umbrella. Forcing others to carry umbrellas based on your guesses is not likely to be helpful.

      • For example, this heatwave in India is a once-per-century scale event based on the past (second worst in history), but it could occur again in ten years with the way the climate is changing, and that should be considered rather than assuming it remains once per century. The people affected now could be affected again.

        You are confusing the mortality rate with the intensity of the event.

        Increasing population alone will increase the mortality rates of all events, so that’s a poor metric.

        Also, take look at the google maps of this city – incredibly dense. Roofs and roads mean virtually all the rain that falls there runs off. Ponds, parks, fields, and even roads that weren’t paved allowed for greater moisture content and for sunshine to go to latent heat instead of sensible heat.

    • And how have all past predictions of increased numbers/intensity of tornadoes/cyclones/hurricanes/climate refugees/ad nauseum turned out so far? The warmunistas continue to have a batting average indistinguishable from zero, yet continue hype claims of pending doom unless we stop our evil ways. Tell us jimd, if we stop burning fossil fuels, which, by the way, makes use of wind and solar impossible, will you and other warmists guarantee that the climate will stop changing so that we can all live in a perfect climate utopia free of extreme weather events?

    • Steven Mosher

      In one small study we did in the US.. the increase was about 2X.

      very useful for planning.

    • Jim D writes- ” you can say that these events will become more common and more severe with time.”

      Saying it does not make it true regardless of how many times it is said. It would be accurate to say you believe that these events will become more common and more severe with time. You do not know enough about the system yet to really know in timescales important to people

    • If I was at a climate forecast company, and someone asked for the odds of a heatwave of a given strength in the next few decades, I would take into account trends already seen, and as predicted by the IPCC, rather than just use the statistics of the past century without correction. The 30-year-averaged temperature is increasing steadily and clearly shows that the 20th century is no guide to the 21st when it comes to such predictions.
      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1900/mean:120/mean:240/plot/gistemp/from:1985/trend

  14. There seems to be an inconsistency between the IMD reported maximum temperatures and the temperatures reported by the NOAA/NCDC based on automatic WMO station measurements. At the peak of the hot season, there have been several instances where the NCDC measurements are higher than the IMD measurements. Based on our conversation with the IMD, the sites are some distance apart and they use different instruments. While theses technicalities can explain the differences between the measurements, its still unclear what is the actual temperature in the city. Moreover, we don’t know what is the effect of urbanization on the inner city temperatures, or if the met station location is representative for the entire city.

    This seems (IMO) like a key point: the “temperature” in the city is actually a 4-dimensional temperature field, and I see no good reason to assume that any single measurement point could reasonably represent it.

    Variations could easily take place in how (various points in) the field differs from any “representative” temperature depending on the time of day, details of that day’s cloud cover history, wind vector, etc.

    I’d guess the locals would have a pretty good fund of information that could be used to help come up with a function for predicting this field. I’d also guess that if the 7-day forecasts could include wind direction, and perhaps some parameter related to cloud development, it could be more useful in directing detailed responses. (Than otherwise; they may already include them.)

    • David Wojick

      Good point. There are lots of ways to develop a rough estimate of a field average from a convenience sample of point measurements. Each method is relatively arbitrary. All the global surface statistical models suffer from this weakness as well.

      • The problem is that, in actually responding to heat waves, it’s important to understand where the problems is/will be worst, and where it will be less. Depending on the traveling distance involved, you could set up your shelters in the least affected places (for short distances) but in the worst affected places (for distances too long to walk in the heat). It would also probably help to know where to start setting up shelters, so those could be set up first without overloading your labor supply in such labor-unfriendly weather. Which you might well do if you plan to set them all up at once.

        There are analogies for global “heat waves” as well.

  15. stevefitzpatrick

    Now wait a second. You and Peter do the forecasts for peanuts, and subsidize the cost out of pocket? What kind of behavior is that for people who obviously don’t care about the poor, or about the future world, for that matter? You’re going to disappoint all the CAGW advocates if you keep this up; they are only looking for villains who are consistently evil.

  16. Don Monfort

    Well, I think we can safely predict that the intellectually and morally superior climate catastrophe alarmists won’t use the body count of this India heat wave to whip up CO2 fear and loathing, ahead of the big partay in Paree. Right, jimmee? Is Paree our last chance to save the planet? Will snow and bitter cold welcome the junketeers to the city of lights? Stay tuned.

    • It will be used to whip up fear and loathing before the partay in Paree and for the party ( dem) in DC. Never waste a good apocalypse before an election.

  17. How close is it to Benghazi?

  18. Brian G Valentine

    If it were cold, and not heat, that killed (as there has been unreported in developed countries of late) – the government, and not climate influence, would rightly have been held liable

    • In what countries have there been deaths from extreme cold waves? Old people die. They die in the spring, summer, fall and winter. Those are not caused by extreme temperature. It’s called dying of natural causes. When a perfectly normal 40-yearold drops dead in a heatwave, it might have been caused by the heatwave in that it might not have otherwise happened. When I was in college two out-of-state students took off for Sioux Falls in a ground blizzard. They had car trouble. They had on light jackets. The wind was almost gale force. They froze to death walking across a field between the Interstate and a farmhouse. They died because of the cold. If the farmer’s wife died of old age that night, it would have been a natural death as 20 below zero is no big deal up there.

      • davideisenstadt

        uhhhh. England, Germany to name two industrialized countries that have experienced this phenomena in the last few years…….check their biostatistics for excess deaths during winter.

      • I grew up in the Dakotas. They have severe winters. It is very unusual for people to die of extreme cold there. When it happens they are usually drunk.

        Winter deaths are normal. There are also summer deaths. This is normal. There are spring deaths. This is normal. There are – hard to believe – fall deaths, and some of them result from falls.

      • ” There are – hard to believe – fall deaths, and some of them result from falls.”

        Ya, some things haven’t changed.
        I was reading about the New York Heat Wave of 1896:

        The Great New York Heat Wave of 1896
        At the end of the 19th century, New York City was home to some 3 million people, many occupying the notoriously cramped and stifling tenements of the Lower East Side and other low-income neighborhoods. When 10 days of relentless heat baked the Big Apple in August 1896, these abysmal living conditions went from an uncomfortable reality to a death sentence for an estimated 1,300 New Yorkers. Roasting in their jam-packed bedrooms and barred from sleeping in public parks by a citywide ban, many tenement dwellers sought a breath of fresh air on rooftops, fire escapes and piers. A sizable share of the heat wave casualties occurred when people fell asleep, rolled from their perches and plummeted to their deaths; others succumbed to heat stroke and other heat-related ailments. More than 1,000 horses also died during the crisis.

    • Nothing much scares me anymore. But this does the trick. Knowing there is a crank with this mentality is one thing. Having the crank sitting in the US Senate elevates it to a disturbing level.

      • There unfortunately is more than one. Too bad there is no senator with the courage to challenge this lunacy – like suggesting to whitehouse that he personally forego all benefits derived from fossil fuels. He could start by stripping naked on the senate floor since nothing he wears currently would be possible without them, then leave to build shelter somewhere with his bare hands or stone tools, forage for food and use whatever dung he can find to provide heat for cooking and cool weather. I suppose we could allow him to cool himself in the potomac or the reflecting pool during hot summer months. Heck, maybe they can build a reality tv show around this concept.

    • The solution is to sue the greens and global warmers for our excess power costs due to their nonsense (a provable harm) and for the excess deaths and injuries from their scaremongering (stress is a major source of deaths and injuries). Until we sue these evil people and bankrupt them they will continue to lie and scare us to promote their latest cause.

      • I prefer the green preferred solution of subsidies.

        The greens should by law pay a tax surcharge or be surcharged on their power bills to give normal people the power cost (20% less) they would have without renewables.

        But since greens aren’t honorable and don’t accept responsibility for their mistakes, the solution is to end renewable subsidies cold turkey.

        If the power companies want to install renewable energy products without mandates, requirements, or subsidies that’s fine.

        If power companies don’t find renewables cost effective the greens could subsidize the installation themselves if they were serious about global warming (ha ha – like that will happen).

        Total elimination of renewable subsidies and renewable mandates/requirements is the only policy that makes sense. This will stop the unnecessary, economy-damaging, unjustified rise in American power costs through the addition of inefficient unreliable undispatchable dirty land-wasting renewables.

      • > This will stop the unnecessary, economy-damaging, unjustified rise in American power costs through the addition of inefficient unreliable undispatchable dirty land-wasting renewables.

        Compare and contrast:

        Think about the wolves. They’re anti-Grrrrowth.

      • They’re anti-Grrrrowth.

        Willard, the grrrrowth. thing is particularly effective at evoking it’s utterance.

        However, have you ever considered you are wrong about growth?

        US per capita CO2 emissions peaked in the 1970s – the technologies that led to improved efficiencies came from economic growth.

        Economically developed nations ( the kind that had grrrrowth ) are the ones with declining birth rates while the undeveloped remain with high birth rates.

        Economically developed nations are the ones with urbanizing populations ( decreasing the footprint in the rural areas ).

        Economically developed nations are the ones that have available resources to pay for environmental protection ( luxury of the rich ).

        Unbridled free markets don’t necessarily look out for the common good and we have to decide as a democracy what that is.

        But as a general rule, economic freedom and growth have proven a benefit to the environment and economic stagnation a harm.

      • > However, have you ever considered you are wrong about growth?

        Growth is not Grrrowth. One is an almost useless metric. The other belongs to a very useful bag of rhetorical tricks. One possible use:

  19. c. 46 C. seems crazy hot.
    However, from Ahmedabad’s weather website-
    Maximum Temp(oC) 40.4
    Departure from Normal(oC) -1

  20. Steve McIntyre

    I traveled through this area in early June 1968. I vividly remember the temperature reaching 116 deg F (46.5 C) in Lahore when I was there – just as hot as now. I was a student and staying in youth hostels and very cheap hotels, all of which were baking hot. The temperature broke when the monsoon rains arrived.

  21. it’s a bit puzzling to see, even on this discussion forum of very knowledgeable people, the trend to ignore what the expression “i in X year event (flood, storm, etc) was meant to mean. I had experience with this practice in Alberta in the emergency measures area, where our forecasters used the shorthand “1 in 100 year rain storm” as a convenient proxy for an event whose probability of occurrence was 1%. (That probability also is part of the basis by which storm drainage systems are designed – i.e. in rural areas for, say, a 1 in 50 year storm (2%), or in urban areas for a 1 in 25 year storm (4%). And of course the data by which such probabilities are determined evolves with continuous gathering of observations and effects.)

    Of course, some in the public and media would then express surprise and disappointment in we overly paid government boffins when such an event occurred two years running – clearly we didn’t know what we were talking about.

  22. “Of course, the heat wave is being blamed on human caused climate change”

    When there’s an extreme cold event, it’s called weather. When there’s an extreme warm event, it’s called climate change. Go figure.

    • Worth keeping in mind that India has had a couple of very severe cold waves recently, including last winter. One reason it’s futile to take an event as typical or trending is that extreme cold and heat can alternate, as in 1936-7, 1911-12 in the US, not to mention more recent swings.

      I say it’s futile, but that doesn’t stop some from squeezing the political juice from every calamity. If the calamity is on the cold side, they just say “polar vortex”, “Lake Effect” or “melt risk”. No blizzards. No winning.

  23. Good news for India? The Western parts look to get some relief.

    The bad news? The GFS indicates it might come from a tropical cyclone:

  24. Nice work! Nice to see climate models put to productive use (instead of the opposite)!

  25. Looks like El Nino finally got up a head of steam. Does this mean monsoon time for India, or is it not related at all.

  26. This raises a number of questions for me. If CFAN can make predictions presumably based on climate variables shouldn’t the consensus conjecture hypothesis of AGW be able to make predictions of extreme weather events? Shouldn’t it be able to predict droughts, rain and floods, polar vortex, huricanes and tornadoes outside of variation events? They should also be able to predict sea ice extent and sea level rise. If this is true shouldn’t it be made public or at least given to authorities to prepare for such calamities? Show your work!

    • CFAN is using ensemble weather forecast models, which make predictions out to 15 days. NOAA makes forecasts publicly available (as do other national weather forecast agencies including the Indian Meteorological Department). Many private sector forecast providers do a better job at providing local forecasts than do the national forecast agencies; they charge clients for their forecasts, which is how they can afford to actually make the forecasts. Hence these forecasts are not publicly available. My company CFAN does make some forecasts publicly available for high impact events that affect undeveloped countries, for humanitarian reasons.

      • JC, thank you that is very informative. I still wonder, however, about AGW and claims of it causing extreme weather events. If this hypothesis is true shouldn’t they be able to make predictions for testing or falsification purposes? I supplied a link to Jim 2 above aboug scientists using falsification to find out about El Nino and its connection to Monsoons. In the same vein shouldn’t there be predictions made for verification purposes as to AGW and extreme weather rather than just making wild claims? I know that’s not a question you can answer. I’m just pushing the envelope for a tesying method for their hypothesis.

  27. Are we having to scour the globe for the information we need to keep the threat of local cataclysm alive? How does that square with reality?

    “What El Niño does is it suppresses the hurricane season, mainly during the peak months of the season, which are August, September and October,” Gerry Bell, NOAA

  28. I have a soft spot for India, having been there several times. What always strikes me are the teeming cities and surely this is a basic problem with the city under review in this article? It is VERY crowded..

    Here is the wiki information on Ahmedabad

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmedabad

    150 years ago it consisted of a few thousand people. In 1960 it had half a million people. Today it has around 6.5 million.

    The Romans knew all about UH in large and already warm cities. Vendors sold Umberellas (parasols) and crushed ice and the wealthy left the city in the summer. It eventually reached 1 million population and after the great fire Nero was entreated to build houses high and in narrow streets to create shade and cooling breezes.

    In the local UK weather forecast over the past few days London has been up to 4 degrees C warmer than the surrounding area during the day and today it is forecast to be some 8C warmer at night. Other UK cities show similar differentials to the surrounding more rural areas.

    We can not ignore the warming effects of cities, especially those with few parks or trees.

    As for mitigation and plans, surely the populace would be best served by industrialising and thus being able to afford energy and the means to cool their environment and provide cool drinks and, more importantly, to devise a way of living in cities that are already in an extremely hot and very dry climate. More Trees? More Parks? Different types of Buildings?

    I don’t pretend to have the answers but whilst UHI is arguably net beneficial in Northern cities, in places like Ahmedabad it needs to be actively combatted.

    tonyb

  29. Perhaps you are correct and the long-term solution is to have more cheap power and use it to cool the citizens. BUT, Ahmedabad has a problem now. They have an action plan to minimize impacts and optimize their health support. So I see ensue in doing what you can now.
    I am not making light of the UHI. Clearly an issue that will get worse and worse with rapid population growth and urbanization. Si the AMS wanted to do something and we helped as best we can. I think was impressed with what they wanted and how they have implemented the information in the forecasts. Whether this effort is sustainable for the long term, I am less than optimistic.
    PW

    • Peter

      Your efforts are to be applauded.

      Making people wealthier gives them more choices, better health and invariably results in smaller families. India can not cope with its vast populations and more and more people cramming into hot dry cities is only going to result in an even hotter microclimate likely to prove deadly.

      I don’t know what, if any, lessons can be learnt from hot rapidly growing cities in more developed countries but Indian cities can’t keep growing like they have been without serious consequences for their people and their local environment.

      Tonyb

  30. Steven Mosher

    tonyb

    “We can not ignore the warming effects of cities, especially those with few parks or trees.”

    Nobody is ignoring those effects

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/hotter-heat-waves-deadly-but-cities-can-use-tricks-for-cooling-off/

    • Mosh

      That is a good article but how relevant are solutions employed in first world cities with tough zoning policies and building regulations compared with the freewheeling and rapid expansion of cities with less money, few building codes and endemic bureaucracy, together with corruption likely to circumvent best intentions?

      Tonyb

      • Steven Mosher

        your claim: we cannot ignore.
        my claim: nobody in the field IS ignoring.

        changing the topic to how RELEVANT the solutions are, is bad faith.

        First. can we agree that you were wrong to suggest or imply that these issues were being ignored.

      • Mosh

        Are you in an argumentative mood or something? I never said we were ignoring it, just that it should not be ignored as one of a number of factors.

        As for bad faith, why do you have such problems when someone asks questions or moves the discussion on?

        My point is that UHI is hugely important, of a scale greater than AGW and needs to be combatted by intelligent design of cities. How that is best achieved in a freewheeling expanding city in the third world is likely to be different as to how that is managed in Phoenix.

        Tonyb

    • Answer
      Linear city

      • Vuk

        UHI dwarfs the alleged effects of AGW. Clearly if cities can be developed that are up to five degrees cooler than they would otherwise be, that will go a long way to mitigating the fears of more heatwaves as the majority of the worlds population now lives in cities.

        Tonyb

  31. Global pause in temp continues RSS for May +.31c

  32. Indian ”heatwaves” are useful for the Warmist propaganda BUT: nothing unusual.
    Nature always encourages overpopulation of every species of plants and animals, including human. Then after 10-15y brings heatwaves, floods, droughts; as part of NATURAL SELECTION. Nature cannot select the weak, unproductive and incompetent to adopt in a line, and shoot them – bad weather was always used for natural selection by making more space for the most resilient. For western civilization especially, natural selection stopped for the last few decades. We are not smarter than nature!

    2] usually virus kills 80-90% of the host, lets survive the rest, for its own survival. if that wasn’t happening in the past; 80% of human would have perished from common flue in the last 9 months and the rest from some other virus before the end of the year; count your blessing people that: natural selection in the past always existed!

  33. I pray that this prediction will not come true:

    The Published Paper is in Energy and Environment
    The original article is behind a pay wall. It is published in Energy and Environment, Vol. 20, No. 1-2, Jan 2009.

    Wilson et al.’s (2008) prediction of reduced solar activity (starting with sunspot cycle 24), combined with the results of this paper, lead us to predict that there could be as much as a 1-in-4 chance that the Indian sub-continent will suffer a catastrophic multi-year failure of the summer monsoon, starting sometime between 2018 – 2020. Potentially, this mega-famine could lead to massive food shortages across large sections of the Indian sub-continent, resulting in millions of deaths.

    http://astroclimateconnection.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/preparing-for-next-indian-mega-famine.html

  34. Pooh, Dixie

    The mention of “trees” and parks is welcome. Some provision for watering the trees should be made. Ahmedabad has the sabarmati river adjoining. Water supply could be distributed by tanker trucks to avoid using drinking water.

  35. Pingback: Heat waves: exacerbated by global warming? | Climate Etc.