New Delhi (German news agency) – Meteorologist and climate expert Karsten Haustein fears the death toll from heat waves in India and Pakistan could continue to rise. Heat deaths are often only visible in the statistics afterward, he told news portal Watson.
“If you look at the number of excess deaths at certain times of the year when the weather is very hot, you actually find a specific peak at this time of year,” explains Haustein. More than 90 people have died in the two-month heatwave in India and Pakistan. Heatwaves are a “more drastic killer” than other extreme weather situations: “On the one hand, there are highly visible events, such as the flood in the Ahr valley. On the other hand, there are heatwaves that are visible to everyone, but the number of deaths that result from them. only seen later.”
Haustein also predicted: “The excessive death toll will run into the thousands, even with a milder heatwave like here in Germany. And it will be no different in India.” The climate crisis is also making heatwaves more frequent in Europe in the future. “You definitely have to be prepared for further heat waves,” Haustein said.
In the long run, there will be no air conditioning in Europe. Over time, heatwaves will only become more severe, and with them the costs associated with them. “There’s always a discussion of whether you should invest a lot of money to adapt to the circumstances. Or whether you should take action at an early stage to avoid such an incident in the long run,” explains Haustein. “Anything we don’t invest in now shifts costs to the next generation.”
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