The Centre for Science and Environment’s (CSE) State of India’s Environment Report 2024, revealed that 329 heatwave days were documented in India over the past two years (2022-2023).

Key Highlights:

  • 2023 recorded as the hottest year on record, with 2022 being the fifth-hottest.
  • Reports by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and Climate Trends highlight the impact of climate change on heatwaves and the media’s coverage of the issue.
  • Marine heatwaves are also on the rise, affecting marine ecosystems and fishing services.
  • IMD predicts a hot summer in 2024 with above-normal temperatures and more heatwave days from March to May due to persistent El Nino conditions.
  • According to the CSE report, presently, heatwaves last for 2-4 days but by 2060 it is expected to last for 18-20 days and one of the major causes is increasing greenhouse gas emissions. 


  • Disrupted western disturbances attributed to fluctuating weather patterns.
  • Increasing greenhouse gas emissions leading to global warming.
  • Urban heat island effect caused by infrastructure in cities trapping heat.
  • Persistent El Nino conditions lead to heat waves.
  • Deforestation and land-use changes affect local climate patterns and reduce natural cooling mechanisms
  • Influence of regional weather patterns, such as the delay or absence of monsoon rains, leading to prolonged dry spells and heatwave conditions


  • Adverse impact on human health, leading to mortality, particularly among vulnerable groups like women and older citizens.
  • Loss of productivity in labor force, especially in agricultural and construction sectors.
  • Marine heatwaves affecting marine ecosystems and events like floods and tropical cyclones.
  • Heat waves can disrupt ecosystems by causing habitat loss.
  • Heat waves intensify water evaporation, leading to increased water demand for irrigation and domestic use.


  • Heat Wave Action Plan providing impact-based early warning services for various meteorological disaster events
  • India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) focusing on building codes, energy efficiency, and conservation techniques in urban areas.
  • Implementation of blue-green infrastructure, increasing green spaces, and replacing paved surfaces with heat-reflective alternatives.
  • Localizing heat action plans by involving urban local bodies.
  • Need for accurate and consistent media coverage to raise public awareness and influence policy making.
  • Emphasizing the role of government officials in climate change action and accountability.
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation through National Solar Mission (NSM), NAPCC, and International Solar Alliance.
  • Establish Early Warning System and Inter-Agency Coordination to alert residents on predicted high and extreme temperatures


Heatwaves pose a significant challenge exacerbated by climate change. Effective measures and policies like the FAME Scheme, AMRUT for Smart Cities and Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana are necessary to mitigate the impacts and adapt to changing climate patterns.

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