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Climate Shift Index (CSI)

  • Category
    Ecology and Environment
  • Published
    30th Jun, 2023

Context

An analysis employing a metric called the Climate Shift Index (CSI) reveals that climate change at least quadrupled the likelihood of the recent heat wave in Uttar Pradesh that caused several hospitalisations (due to heat stroke) in the state. 

What is Climate Shift Index (CSI)?

  • CSI is a tool that quantifies the contribution of climate change to daily temperatures.
  • Developed by: “Climate Central”, an independent US-based group of scientists and communicators.
  • A higher index indicates more dramatic change compared to the past.
    • CSI levels above one indicate climate change.
    • Levels between two and five mean that climate change made those temperatures between two to five times more likely.
  • The analysis shows that certain parts of Uttar Pradesh reached CSI levels of three, indicating temperatures that have become at least three times more likely due to climate change.

Increasing heat waves and mortality

  • A key climatic danger for South Asian countries, according to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is the increased mortality rate from heat waves.
  • On a national level, India has not yet formally declared heat waves a natural catastrophe. Extremely hot spells can have a huge impact on
    • human and animal health
    • reproductive failure in crops and severe output reductions
  • A McKinsey Global Institute survey states that roughly 75% of Indian workers face stress related to the heat.
    • According to the analysis, by 2030, the nation might lose 5% to 4.50% of its Gross Domestic Product annually if this trend persists.

Heat Stroke

  • Heat stroke happens when the body's temperature control mechanism malfunctions and it overheats.
  • Symptoms: An extremely high body temperature, quick breathing, rapid heartbeat, disturbed mental status, and occasionally dry skin or no perspiration.
  • India has been experiencing record-breaking heat, with February 2023 setting a new record dating back to the year 1901.
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