No, solar storm is not behind the relentless heatwave in India

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued red alerts in Delhi and several parts of Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana for the day as the mercury rises, worsened by gusty winds.
No, solar storm is not behind the relentless heatwave in India

Several parts of India are in the throes of one of the worst bouts of heatwave as temperatures soar in several states, breaking records.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued red alerts in Delhi and several parts of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana for the day as the mercury rises worsened by gusty winds. With people awaiting monsoons more than ever, there is a section on social media which attributes the conditions to the recent solar storm that hit Earth.

A brutal heat wave swept Delhi, with the maximum temperature soaring to 45.2 degrees Celsius on Monday even as the weather office predicted some relief from the scorching heat from June 19.

The threshold for a heat wave is met when the maximum temperature of a weather station reaches at least 40 degrees Celsius in the plains, 37 degrees in the coastal areas, and 30 degrees in the hilly regions, and the departure from normal is at least 4.5 notches.

The national capital was on a 'red' alert, which will remain in force on Tuesday, with the maximum temperature expected to hit 45 degrees Celsius.

Heatwave to severe heatwave conditions were recorded at most places in Delhi, with the Safdarjung observatory, the primary weather station of the national capital, registering a high of 45.2 degrees Celsius, 6.4 notches above the season's average.

Celsius, which was 9.5 notches above normal for the season, while Una in Himachal Pradesh recorded 44 degrees -- 6.7 notches above average.

In Jammu and Kashmir, Katra recorded a maximum temperature of 40.8 degrees Celsius, which was 5.7 notches above normal, while the mercury touched a high of 44.3 degrees in Jammu.

The Sun is going through a period of maxima, which is characterised by intense activity, and Earth experienced it in the early weeks of May when an intense solar storm barrelled through the planet. The series of coronal mass ejections, the most powerful eruptions from the Sun, struck Earth.

This triggered a series of auroras, seen as far as Ladakh in India, with global space agencies and scientists on alert in a bid to save assets outside the planet.

The solar storm came from one of the biggest sunspots seen on the Sun in recent history. However, the solar storm did not trigger the heatwave experienced not just in India but in other parts of the world. The solar storm was solely responsible for auroras and radio blackouts over the Pacific and some parts of the world

Solar storms can be responsible for inducing electric currents in power lines, which can overload transformers and other critical infrastructure, potentially causing blackouts. The charged particles from the Sun can damage satellite electronics and solar panels. High-frequency radio waves and GPS signals can be disrupted, affecting communication and navigation systems. Meanwhile, Earth's atmosphere can also expand slightly due to heating from a solar storm, increasing drag on satellites in low Earth orbit and potentially altering their orbits.

But they are not responsible for the heatwave.

The heatwave crippling parts of India is solely due to human-induced climate change fuelled by emissions and global warming.

The United Nations-led Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its sixth assessment report found that human influence has likely increased the chance of compound extreme events since the 1950s, including the frequency of concurrent heatwaves and droughts on the global scale.

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has concluded that there is an 80 per cent likelihood that the annual average global temperature will temporarily exceed 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels for at least one of the next five years.

The global mean near-surface temperature for each year between 2024 and 2028 is predicted to be between 1.1°C and 1.9°C higher than the 1850-1900 baseline.

"We are playing Russian roulette with our planet. We need an exit ramp off the highway to climate hell, UN Secretary-General Ant³nio Guterres has warned. 

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