Feeling hot hot hot!

The study, submitted to the central government in the third week of February, has found that such urban heat islands (UHIS) exist around seven of the 11 weather stations in Delhi. The worst affected is Delhi University, in northern part of the capital, where the average temperature during 2010 and 2011 was 3.5°C higher than the surrounding areas. Temperatures in Indira Gandhi Sports
Complex in central Delhi and Yamuna Sports Complex in east Delhi, too, were over 3°C higher?than their surrounding areas.

The least affected of the seven UHIS was the India Gate area where the temperature difference was less than 1°C. Though the study uses 2010-2011 data, the analysis is still valid because the average temperature remains more or less same for a place unless there is some drastic event, says Dilip Chate, lead author of the study.

Gufran Beig, director, System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research, IITM, says that the process to get the report published in a scientific journal has been started. But Manju Mohan, professor, Centre for Atmospheric Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, has a different take. She agrees there are several UHIs in the city, but says?it is markets and business centres like Connaught Place, Sitaram Bazaar and Bhikaji Cama Place which show high temperature variations, not areas like Delhi University which has a green belt. This was the conclusion of her study published in the journal, Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, in 2012.

The IITM study was done in a relatively short time by the government,?after the release of a report by non-profit Centre for Science and Environment on 5 February which compared New Delhi’s pollution levels with that of Beijing between 1 October 2013, and 31 January 2014, and found Delhi’s levels?to be much worse. Also, the weather stations IITM took data from are situated in areas and complexes constructed for hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2010. Probably a more widespread data would present a different picture.

By arrangement with Down to Earth magazine
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