Weather alert

While 2015 was the hottest year on record, Indian cities have been getting warmer by the year

The average temperature in the country has risen by 2.2°C over the last 200 years, according to a study.

With 2015 now the hottest year since records started being kept 135 years ago, Delhi, Mumbai and other Indian cities have heated up substantially since the 19th and 20th centuries, data from the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) reveal.

Mumbai’s average annual temperature has risen 2.4 °C since 1891 and Delhi’s average annual temperature has risen 0.3 °C since 1930, as the chart below indicates:

Source: NASA
Source: NASA

An alternative study from Berkeleyearth.org, a US non-profit that analyses climate science, appears to confirm the larger trend seen in the temperature rise in India: a rise of 2.2 °C over 200 years.

Source: BerkeleyEarth.org
Source: BerkeleyEarth.org

Finland, Spain experience greatest warming

NASA took data from 6,300 weather stations around the world and compared it to a baseline, which is the average temperature from 1951-1980 (and can be taken roughly as 14 °C). In 2015, the temperature deviation from the baseline was 0.87 °C, making it the hottest year since 2014, when the global temperature was 0.74 °C above the baseline.

Source: NASA
Source: NASA

The 10 hottest years on record have now all occurred after 2000 and deviations from the baseline have increased at a rate of 0.03°C for every year from 2000 to 2015, indicative of a larger trend of global warming.

Finland and Spain had their warmest years ever while Argentina had its second warmest year. In the long term, the biggest temperature increases have occurred around the poles, while temperatures around the equator haven’t changed much, according to a report on PBS.org.

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, USA
Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, USA

A closer look at the map also shows there is no region untouched by warming. “Further affirmation of the reality of the warming is its spatial distribution, which has largest values at locations remote from any local human influence,” a NASA statement said.

Most of the weather stations around the world are in the northern hemisphere, where most of the Earth’s land mass is located. This means we do not really have a good idea of how the southern hemisphere, which is mostly ocean, has heated up. So, global warming could be underestimated, according to a report from realclimate.org, a commentary site on climate science.

El Niño's role

It would be easy to blame human activity and greenhouse gases for the warming, but according to some scientists, while that may not be possible for a single year, it does adequately explain the longer trend.

“[A] specific year [being the warmest]…is not attributable to greenhouse gases per se…but the long-term trend … is attributable,” said Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies in 2015.

A role in warming the world, and parts of India, in 2015 can also be attributed to the complex phenomenon called El Niño, a vast ocean-atmosphere climate interaction in parts of the Pacific Ocean, linked to warmer sea-surface temperatures. IndiaSpend has reported how El Niño in 2015 brought a more intense heatwave in northern India and a weaker monsoon.

The fact that there were record hot years, such as 2014, without an El Nino is seen as further evidence of global warming.

Potential consequences

More flooding in Europe, water shortages in Africa, droughts in Asia and wildfires in North America. These are some of the effects that could result if the Earth’s warming continues, the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change, a United Nations agency responsible for investigating the effects of global warming, predicted in a 2014 report.

Countries around the world took their most significant step yet at COP21, the Paris climate change conference in December. (IndiaSpend has reported on India’s position at the summit here.) Agreeing to keep the rise in global temperatures in 2030 to under 2°C from pre-industrial times, while striving for a 1.5 °C rise, will go a long way, but, to borrow a proverb, the proof will be in the pudding.

This article was first published on IndiaSpend, a data-driven and public-interest journalism non-profit.

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These GIFs show you what it means to miss breakfast

That monstrous roar is your empty stomach.

Let’s take a glance at your every day morning routine. You crawl out of bed, go for a quick shower, pull out and wear your neatly ironed clothes at the speed of light and then rush out of the house, making sure you have your keys and wallet in place.

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You walk into office, relieved because you have made it to work on time. Stifling yawns and checking emails, you wonder how your colleagues are charged up and buzzing with energy. “What is wrong with these people” you mumble to yourself.

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Slowly, you start to change. You start snapping at colleagues and start arguing with your computer. You take out your frustration on anything or anyone in sight.

To add to the aggressive behaviour, you’ve completely lost your focus. After some time, you simply forget what you were doing.

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Unable to bear the hunger pangs, you go for a mid-morning snack. It is only when a colleague asks you for a bite do you realize that you have developed into a fully formed, hunger fueled, monster. Try not to look at yourself in the mirror.

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If only you had spared not even twenty or ten but just 5 minutes in the morning and not skipped breakfast, your story would look completely different - as you will see in this video.

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The fast dip in your mood and lack of focus is because your body has missed its most important meal of the day – breakfast. Research has shown that skipping a meal, especially in the morning, worsens the mood because there is a drop in the blood sugar. This in turn affects the levels of serotonin and dopamine, the chemicals produced in the brain that control our moods and feelings. In simpler English, not having breakfast is going to make you really cranky and confused!

Morning is also when the body needs maximum nutrition to function efficiently through the day as you’ve just woken up from a full 7 hours of no food (and if you’re sleeping less than that, that’s a whole other article).

So in short, having a breakfast could make you go from looking like the earlier GIFs to this:

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But with changing lifestyles and most people hard pressed for time, a healthy breakfast is taking the backseat. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. MTR has come up with a range of widely loved Indian delicacies like Poha, Upma and Halwa which can be made in (hold you breath) just 3 minutes! All you have to do is add hot water and wait for 3 minutes to get a delicious and filling breakfast.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of MTR and not by the Scroll editorial team.