"Last week was insanely hot in Turbat. It did not feel like April," a Pakistani man tells the Guardian. If you think "insanely hot" must mean around 100, guess again. The temps in the region were closer to 120 degrees, and it's not even May—the month when it's long been accepted that things get blisteringly hot ahead of monsoon rains in June (in May 2021, a record high temp of 129 degrees was recorded). The MIT Technology review reports the Indian government determined March 2022 was the hottest March on record, with an average temp that neared 92 degrees. The Guardian outlines other places in India and Pakistan that have recorded unreal temperatures of late, and details the many negative impacts, among them:
- Energy shortages are triggering rolling blackouts, which are curtailing industrial output.
- They're also making refrigerators and air conditioners (which only the wealthy typically own, notes NPR) useless for much of the day.
- The energy that powers those devices, as well as fans, comes largely from coal; to speed the transport of coal to power plants, passenger and postal trains are being canceled and replaced by cargo-only trains.
- Water reserves are drying up, while at the same time, glaciers are melting in Pakistan's north, raising fears of flooding.
- Fooled by the heat, fruit trees have seen premature blossoms that then died. Vegetable and wheat crops have been hit hard as well.
- The wheat part is doubly problematic, in that India—the No. 2 wheat and rice producer in the world, per the BBC—had hoped to increase exports to make up for a decrease in exports from Russia and Ukraine.
- A standout quote: "This is the first time in decades that Pakistan is experiencing what many call a 'spring-less year," said the country's Minister of Climate Change, per CNN.
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