Thursday, May 5, 2016

Southeast Asia Gripped By Brutal, Long Heat Wave

A woman in India stays as close to a fan as possible
during the country's intense and long lasting heat wave  
Weird heat waves have been gripping different parts of the world quite often over the past year, that's for sure

(Shout out to tropical Greenland!)

Over the last few weeks, the Earth's first truly deadly heat wave of 2016 is grinding on in southeast Asia.

In India, 330 million people have been affected by the worst of the heat wave and drought, which has brought temperatures there to as high as 119 degrees, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

At least 87 people died from the  heat in India and March, and likely far more than that in April, though the government hasn't compiled that information yet. At least 250,000 villages in India are facing severe water shortages.

In Thailand,the heat wave is being described as the longest lasting in at least 65 years. It's gotten as hot as 112 degrees there in late April, according to Bangkok Coconuts. 

More than 130 children have drowned in Thailand in the past month as the kids flee to waterways to escape the heat.

The heat and accompanying drought have destroyed crops in India, Thailand, and Vietnam, whose coffee crop is wilting in the dry heat.

The famous bugaboo El Nino gets lots of the blame for this heat wave and drought. El Nino tends to accentuate droughts and heat waves in southeast Asia.

Underlying global warming contributes a bit to make the situation even worse.

Monsoons will hopefully ease the drought and heat wave but that will take time. Normally, the wet monsoon season starts to creep into southern India in June and slowly spreads northward across much of the region.

Much like California hoping for a lot of El Nino driven winter storms a few months back, people in Southeast Asia hope a rapidly waning El Nino will encourage a robust monsoon.

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