Temperatures in parts of India are breaking monthly records. March and April saw the highest average monthly temperatures on record and the scorching weather is expected to continue. According to the Meteorological Department of the Government of India, northern and central India recorded the highest average monthly air temperature in the entire 122-year history of meteorological observations.
The abnormal heat immediately caused fires even in the evergreen, moisture-saturated jungle:
The official cause of the fires is a sharp and unusually strong warming, as a result of which the temperature reached 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees °F) in many regional areas, including Pakistan:
The unusually early record heat wave reduced the wheat crop. Wheat is very sensitive to heat in the last stage of ripening. For this reason, Indian farmers schedule their sowing time to coincide with the usually cooler spring. However, this year, due to the unusually hot spring, the prospects for the harvest leave much to be desired.
According to climatologists, previously such a heat wave in India happened about once every 50 years, but now there is every reason to believe that heat waves will occur much more often, about once every 4 years. According to experts, the wheat harvest in India and Pakistan this year is expected to be about a quarter below average.
Although India is the second largest wheat producer in the world, it exports only a small part of its crop. Before the pandemic, India had huge reserves that far exceeded its domestic needs, it was a buffer against the risk of famine. However, these reserves were depleted by the distribution of free grain during the pandemic to about 800 million people – vulnerable groups such as migrant workers.
Affecting the whole world
Today, India continues to be a huge food exporter, flooding markets with whole barges of fruits and vegetables even in the era of a global pandemic. And now Ukraine has dropped out of this market for an indefinite period of time, and UN experts are already frightening either with a rise in the price of food by 37 percent, or with a famine in general, which will begin no later than the autumn of 2022. And now some more bad things are starting in India.
India is not Ukraine, the fields there are not evenly distributed, grouped along the rivers. Wild vegetation is also concentrated there, which is now on fire. The rest of the space is mountains and desert, where there are no fires – there is nothing to set fire to.
Therefore, even a fire that is not very large in size destroys many gardens and fields at a time, will very soon affect the world food market.